Author: Maxine Williams
For a new parent, trying to dissern the reason behind your babies crying can be stressful, worrying and leave you feeling guilty or incapable. The truth is, it takes time to get to know your baby, and time for your baby to get to know you. A lot of people talk about learning from your babies cries..but first you need to know which cry is for what! Below are some of the reasons why babies cry. Work through each one, it will help you begin to recognise your babies different cries.
1. The main reason a newborn baby cries is hunger. It can be difficult to establish if your baby is hungry, as it can take a while for your bay to settle into a steady feeding pattern, especially with regular growth spurts making them hungrier. Some new babies like to feed every two hours, others may be happy to go four, but by presuming your new baby is hungry and offering a feed, you shoul dslowly begin to get an idea of when your baby may be hungry. The chances are, if your baby only takes an ounce before fussing and crying, or only breastfeeds for a few minutes, its not really hunger, but perhaps one of the other reasons below.
2. Tiredness or overtiredness. A good rule of thumb for a newborn baby is that they usually need a nap every two hours or so. This changes as they grow and all babies are different but when they are very tiny, they get tired out very easily. Some babies who dont find it so easy to settle to sleep or receive lots of stimulation may become overtired, kind of like the times you yourself may go to bed but find you just cant sleep, though you really need to. A good way to help them unwind is to take them to a nice quiet dim room and rock them gently until they feel more able to settle to sleep.
3. Wet or Dirty Nappies. Some babies really hate the feel of wet or dirty bums. Luckily this is easy to suss out, just have a wee check!
4. Wind. Some babies suffer mor with trapped wind than others and may not be able to burp for up to half an hour after a feed. You will probably become more aware of this the more used to feeding your baby you become. Some recommend giving baby a wind half way through a feed and then again at the end of a feed, and keeping baby upright for half an hour or so. If your baby is very windy, infacol can help, a special medicine designed to help baby get wind up easier. It can be bought over the counter or gotten on perscription.
5. Boredom and frustration. As your baby begins to get older, he or she may become bored more easily, relying on you to provide them with stimulation. By about 3-4 months, most babies enjoy musical toys, like bells or rattles. Also some babies become very frustrated, say they want to reach something, but they cant move that far yet, this can lead to outbreaks of crying. Watching your baby and observing his or her actions will help you realise when boredem or frustration is the issue.
6. Illness/Teething. Some babies can teeth from a very early age, knowing the signs of teething can help:
Rosy Red Cheek or Cheeks that feel warm to the touch.
A temperature of no higher than 38.3 degrees.
More dirty nappies or strong smelling urine.
Waking up a lot during the night or during naps
Becoming more clingy than ususal
Wanting to always be chomping on something
A blister or swollen gums, sometimes with a tiny white line as the tooth begins to push up.
If your baby is over two months, you are able to buy teething gels, baby calpol and ashton and parsons teething powders which will help ease the discomfort and making sure your baby has something hard to chomp on.
If your baby is hotter than 38.3 and does not display other signs of teething or you think it could be more than teething, then pop down to your GP for a check over and some advice.
7. Babies can be sensitive little beings and if you are feeling particularily unhappy or stressed they may pick up on that and respond to it. It can help to give your baby to someone esle to settle then.
8. Seperation Anxiety. Some babies suffer more from clinginess than others, and this is termed as seperation anxiety which is most commen from 6 months and up. Some say it corresponds with developmental phases, so say your baby is just learning to crawl, your baby will then realise that suddenly he or she can move away from mummy and this can make them become anxious. Some may cry all of a sudden when left to go off to sleep, where before they didnt mind. Its important to deal with this gently and patiently, as just leaving your baby to get on with it can make this phase last a lot longer and also risk emotional damage. Playing games like peek a boo, and gradually hiding for longer till your baby loses interest can help, also having a 'comfort action', such as putting on a certain song when you leave the room, or singing to your baby can help them realise that although mummy isnt there to see, she is still about. Generally most babies are happy to be left alone for short periods of time from 1 year.
About the Author:
Maxine is a busy mum of 3 and runs a chat forum for women at