There are several possible reasons why babies cry, so for new parents, trying to comfort a baby in distress can be a heart-wrenching experience if the reason isn’t clear. It’s helpful to keep a list of possible reasons handy so that you have something to refer to during those stressful moments when you can’t seem to soothe a crying baby.
One of the first things you might assume when your baby cries is that he is hungry. This is a common reason why babies cry, so check for telltale signs such as rooting or lip-smacking. In such cases, the only way to appease your child is by feeding. But you can avoid the tears by being ready to feed at a moment’s notice, right when you spot the telltale signs. Colic is another answer to the question of why babies cry, and it’s a tricky one. Your baby may just have a gassy tummy which is easy to remedy by burping, but colic is a more chronic condition. If you can’t seem to tell why your baby is crying and it has been taking place for a few nights, you may want to ask your pediatrician if you can try over-the-counter drops for gas.
If you’re trying to soothe a crying baby who has been up and engaged for a few hours, you might just have a sleepy baby on your hands. If he seems particularly restless and irritable, you may want to take him to a quiet place where he can calm down and drift off to sleep. On the other hand, it might just be a soiled diaper, so it wouldn’t hurt to check every so often. Forgetting to change your baby’s diaper when you have to won’t just make him feel uneasy, but may cause rashes and skin irritations which can cause even more crying!
If you are a mother, also keep in mind that your baby was completely connected to you for nine months and still needs to feel the reassurance of your touch. Needing to be carried is one of the reasons why babies cry, so keep your child close in a safe baby carrier if you can. If your child is a few months old, his tears may also be due to teething. You’ll be able to tell because of the excessive drooling and sometimes, even reddish cheeks. Wrap a small piece of fruit in a cheese cloth and freeze it for a tasty and soothing treat.
Other reasons for your child’s distress could be feeling uncomfortable with the temperature, wearing a shirt with a scratchy tag, feeling overstimulated, or even sensing a stressful situation in the home. At the end of the day, determining why babies cry and how to help them is really a matter of being receptive and attentive to their cues.