Your baby is fully dependent on you. You provide her with the food, warmth and comfort that she needs. When she cries, it’s her way of communicating those needs and asking you for attention and care.
It’s sometimes hard to work out which need your baby wants you to take care of. But as your baby grows, she’ll learn other ways of communicating with you. For example, she’ll get better at eye contact, making noises and smiling.
In the meantime, here are some reasons why your baby may cry !
Hunger is one of the most common reasons why your baby will cry, especially if she’s a newborn. The younger your baby is, the more likely it is that she’s hungry.
Your baby may not stop crying immediately, but let her keep feeding if she wants to.
May have colic
If your baby cries a lot, but is otherwise healthy, she may have colic. Your baby may become flushed and frustrated, and refuse your efforts to soothe her. She may clench her fists, draw up her knees, or arch her back.
Other experts think that it may be associated with tummy problems. For example, an allergy or intolerance to something in your breastmilk, or a type of formula milk. Or it may be linked to wind, constipation or reflux, when your baby brings up feeds.
If you think your baby is crying excessively, take her to your GP to rule out any other causes. Your doctor will check that nothing more serious is causing your baby’s distress.
Your baby may find it hard to get to sleep, particularly if she’s over-tired. The younger your baby is, the more subtle her sleep cues are, so it may take a few weeks for you to recognise the signs.
Lots of attention from doting visitors may over-stimulate your baby and make it hard for her to sleep, as can too much rocking and singing. Try taking her to a quiet room after a feed and before bed to help her calm down and switch off.
Too cold or too hot
You can check whether your baby is too hot or too cold by feeling her tummy or the back of her neck.
Keep the temperature of your baby’s room between 16 degrees C and 20 degrees C. Use a room thermometer to keep track of the temperature. Place her down to sleep on her back with her feet at the foot of her cot. That way she can’t wriggle down under the blankets and become too hot.
If her tummy feels too hot, remove a blanket or layer, and if it feels cold, simply add one. If you’re using a sleeping bag, make sure it’s the right tog for the season and the right size for your baby.
Need nappy changing
Your baby may protest if she has a wet or soiled nappy. Some babies don’t seem to mind unless their skin feels irritated.
Don’t feel well
If your baby’s unwell, she’ll probably cry in a different tone from the one you’re used to. It may be weaker, more urgent, continuous, or high-pitched. If she usually cries a lot but has become unusually quiet, this may also be a sign that she’s not well.
Call your doctor straight away if your baby is persistently crying and has a fever of 38C or above (if she’s less than three months old) or 39C or above (if she’s three months to six months), is vomiting, or has diarrhoea or constipation.
This cry is probably just a phase. As your baby grows, she will learn new ways to communicate her needs with you. And when this happens, the excessive crying will soon stop.
Hope this article will be useful for moms with young children!