All babies cry. Since babies can’t talk yet, crying is their only way to communicate their feelings to you. Yet there are times when it feels like your newborn baby is crying for no reason. But is there really no reason?
It can get really frustrating if you cannot figure out what is causing your baby’s distress. Perhaps the reason is in this list:
1. Your baby is sleepy or tired.
Topping this list is one of the most common reasons why your newborn baby is fussy. After a day of full of stimulation and discovering new things, your baby is bound to get tired.
But when they are already overtired, they find it hard to calm down and sleep. Babies have trouble processing this new emotion, causing them to cry ceaselessly. Next time, don’t wait for your newborn baby to show visible signs of tiredness. Instead, put them to sleep even before they are tired.
2. Your baby is hungry.
Next, your baby is crying probably because he is hungry. For babies who are exclusively breastfed, even if they have just fed, feed them anyway when they’re showing signs of hunger. Breastmilk is very easily digested, and breastfed newborn babies have to be fed often.
3. Your baby’s diaper is wet or dirty.
If your baby has just woken up and is full, what could the reason for their distress be? Check their diapers. Newborn babies go through a lot of diapers in a day, so it is very possible that they just wet or soiled their diapers.
4. Your baby has colic or gas.
Another common reason for fussiness is colic or gas. You can say that a baby is colicky if they cry for at least three hours a day, at least three days a week, and at least three weeks in a row.
This may be caused by gas, which leaves many babies in pain. You can try relieving gas with a gentle bicycle motion (bring your baby’s legs alternately up to their chest), with over-the-counter gas drops, or by burping them.
5. Your baby is in pain.
Gas and colic are not the only kind of pain that your baby can experience. If your baby is inconsolable, check to see if something is causing them pain. For example, an itchy piece of clothing or bedding might be irritating their skin.
A “hair tourniquet,” on the other hand, which refers to hair or thread wrapped tightly around a finger or a toe, cuts off circulation and is very painful.
6. Your baby is uncomfortable.
No matter how feisty, your newborn baby is still helpless. Since they don’t have much control over their muscles, they might be stuck in an uncomfortable position. Try to move them around or gently switch their position.
It is also possible that the temperature has become too warm or too cold for them. They cannot regulate their body temperature yet, so it’s important to keep their external temperatures at the ideal level.
7. Your baby needs fresh air.
If you spent the whole day staying inside the house, your baby might feel restless. Take them out for a walk for some sunlight and a whiff of fresh air. If the weather is not great, you may also opt to take them on a ride inside the car. The change of environment just might be what they need.
8. Your baby needs some stimulation.
Lack of stimulation can also cause your baby to feel edgy and agitated. At this point, toys and activity gyms may not be enough to give them the stimulation they need. Instead give your baby some interaction or skin-to-skin contact, read stories, or play little games.
9. Your baby needs soothing.
On the other side of the coin, it is also entirely possible that your baby has had too much stimulation. Overstimulation causes babies to feel overwhelmed, which in turn causes fussiness. Reduce the amount of stimulation, dim the lights, and play some relaxing music.
10. Your baby is anxious.
Has your baby found themselves in a new environment? Is there a strange face inside your house? A lot of things can cause newborn babies to feel anxious and uneasy. It is helpful to gradually introduce new places, new people, and even new concepts and let your baby adjust at their own pace.
11. Your baby is ill.
If none of the solutions previously mentioned is working, consider the possibility that they are feeling unwell. Check their temperature to see if they have a fever. If there’s anything – no matter how small – that seems unusual, take your baby to the doctor right away.
12. Your baby just needs you.
Sometimes, your baby cries just because they need to be in your presence. Your baby has an intense need for physical contact, especially one that comes from you. Your baby may just to be held. For this reason, you can bathe your baby, give them a gentle massage, swaddle them, or wear them in a sling.
Soothing a baby, especially one who has been crying for hours non-stop, is an exhausting part of parenthood. It can cause fatigue and can even trigger anxiety and depression. Your partner and your support group play a huge role in bearing the burden, so don’t be afraid to ask for help!
After trying multiple ways to soothe your baby, if they are still crying, it’s okay to put them down and take a breather. It’s better to leave your baby crying – as long as they are safe inside their crib – than lose patience and let your temper control you.
Whatever happens, do not shake your baby out of frustration. Leave the room and breathe in some fresh air to regain composure. It will probably do them good to cry and let the pent-up emotions out…and it will probably do you good, too.