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7 Common Reasons why Babies Cry

7 Common Reasons why Babies Cry

Why babies cry?

Babies cry— it’s an undeniable fact.

There’s pretty much nothing you can do to change why babies cry. Crying is the only way they can communicate for the time being – and they have a lot to tell you.

Babies want you to know when they’re hungry, hurt, sleepy or afraid. They do this because they can’t do anything about it themselves and have no way to get your attention. Even when they start to talk, it would take a while for you to break them out of the habit.

Motherhood is indeed a full-time job, and quite strenuous for those who just got into it for the first time.

Crying is something every parent learns to put up with. It’s tiring and frightening trying to figure out what your baby wants – especially when your baby is well fed and seemingly comfortable, yet, you can’t seem to figure out why your baby cries.

However, what would help though, is to be able to identify (most of the time) why your baby cries so you could soothe the baby just in time.

So in that light, we have put together seven common reasons why babies cry, with tips on how to pacify them of course.


  1. Hunger

Hunger is the most common reason for a baby to cry; so very often that supplying food becomes the first option for a solution. It’s instinctive, and a great way to go. Even adults get quite irritable when they’re hungry, let alone babies. Their stomachs are quite small and they can’t hold in so much food, so it get’s empty quick.

Importantly, offer to feed your baby when he/she starts to cry, especially if they tend to feed in smaller quantities and at more frequent paces.

Howbeit, when babies are really hungry, they get panicked and distressed – so feeding becomes stressful. They may not even stop crying after they have been fed. If your baby is panicked before feeding, rub their head or caress their arm while they feed to relax them and ensure they don’t eat too fast. That way, they don’t take in extra gas that would cause choking or stomach problems.

Also, it’s imperative to pay close attention to your baby’s signs of hunger so you could feed her before she begins to cry. Some signs might be fidgeting, frantically moving of the head from side to side, opening and closing of their mouth or sucking on their lips, hands or clothing.


  1. Tiredness

Babies learn to sleep; it doesn’t come naturally. They get fussy start to cry, especially when they’re really tired.

Till your baby perfects this skill, you can try a number of things till you can find what soothes your baby to sleep. You can rock or sing them to sleep. Alternatively, you can let them rest on your back, or have some white noise (sound of a hairdryer or washing machine, for example) in the background

Though, you may be tempted shorten your baby’s sleep during the daytime so they can sleep longer at night – especially if they often wake up at night. Contrastly, if a baby is too tired, it would lead to the secretion of hormones which would make it even more difficult to sleep.

So, encourage your baby to sleep even if it’s not the time she usually does.

You can tell a baby is sleepy when she begins to grow quiet, stare blankly into space, or whine and cry at the slightest thing.


  1. Dirty Diaper

Not all babies can settle for the slightest discomfort, even to the ones self-inflicted.

Babies tender skin might be irritated by the dirty diaper, and cause them to cry out in protest. Some babies could go a while before feeling uncomfortable while others cannot. If you suspect your child is uncomfortable because of a wet or soiled diaper it is best to take a quick peek or do a sniff test before they start to cry.

Make sure to always use a barrier cream whenever you change diapers. If your baby is the type to be fussy about nappy changes, make sure to have a toy or song ready to distract them while you change!

  1. Overstimulation:

Babies learn from interacting with the world around them. Nonetheless, they might find it hard to process happenings around them if it’s happening all at once. Too much noise or light or being crowded or passed from one stranger to the other translate to commotion to her and might cause her to get upset and cry.

If this happens, try getting her away from it all to somewhere quiet and familiar till she calms down. Don’t let this scare you from letting your baby out, for he/she could cry if she’s bored and under-stimulated. Stimulation is a prerequisite for learning.


  1. Need for Attention

Babies might be distracted with a toy or bouncer for a while, but not for long.

Babies are the happiest around the faces and voices of their parents or familiar loved ones. That’s why they require your company to develop well and learn to be calm rather than agitated. They would often cry out of loneliness because they are not being held and do not feel a sense of reassurance or comfort.

They just want to be held close— they are too young to understand when a person is occupied. You want your child from holding them too much the first few months of their lives.


  1. Hurt/Illness


It’s natural for babies to cry more often than usual when they are ill. After a while, you will get accustomed to the crying pattern of your baby. You would be able to tell when it isn’t hunger or frustration. It would most likely be weaker, and probably high pitched.

Ensure you check your baby’s temperature and be on alert for other signs of illness, such as vomiting and lack of weight gain. Ensure you bring it to your paediatrician’s attention as soon as possible. If you feel something is off, it’s okay to trust your instincts.

Your baby may be uncomfortable and falling ill because of teething. So if you suspect so try feeling around the gums for the hard nub on an emerging baby tooth. Teething usually starts between 4 to 7 months but it may happen earlier.


  1. General Discomfort

We understand how uncomfortable we get from things as simple as an eyelash stuck in our eyes. Therefore, understand how it would be a baby, who can’t do whatever it takes to get relief.

If your baby cries during or after feeding, it is possible your baby swallowed too much air while crying, or while eating. You can relieve her by burping her— doesn’t take more than a pat or rub on the back.

Babies may also be uncomfortable when they feel too hot from being overdressed or too cold being bathed. Other causes of discomfort range from things like scratchy clothes or cloth labels or even tight shoes. Even things like a hair painfully wrapped around the tender skin of a baby’s toe or finger.

Holding your baby on the stomach or side is very comforting, and can help with stomach issues. A gentle shushing sound directly into the baby’s ear could also work to comfort your baby. As well as swinging motions and the use of a pacifier.

Sometimes you may never really tell why your baby is crying, but don’t be distraught. Still comfort your child regardless. Some babies simply cry because they feel like it. Sometimes in such cases, you are allowed to take a break from the child. You can call a friend or relative to help you watch over the child a while.

The crying phase will pass as your baby grows. They will eventually find new ways to communicate and once that happens there will be the need to cry less.

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