If you are a new parent or a young babysitter, you are probably wondering, “Why do babies cry?”
Why do babies cry? Because babies are limited in their communication skills. They haven’t learned how to speak yet. The only way they are able to get your attention is by crying.
Babies cry when they are tired.
Babies aren’t used to a routine yet. They haven’t developed a circadian rhythm, which means they are not going to fall asleep at the right time each night as soon as they get comfortable in their crib.
In order to prevent tired cries in the middle of the night, you should not actually cut down on the amount of naps you allow your baby to take throughout the earlier hours.
Even though you might assume they will be tuckered out if they don’t get any rest until the end of the night, they will actually get a second wind and have an even harder time falling asleep at the right time if you withhold their naps from them.
If your baby is having trouble sleeping, the best thing you can do is try to soothe them and cause them comfort. Swaddle them in a blanket, rock them back and forth, and make sure they are in a comfortable position.
When all else fails, you can also try singing them a lullaby, driving them in the car, or turning on the vacuum to create a relaxing sound.
Babies cry when they are hungry.
Babies will cry when they haven’t eaten lately. Some researches believe this is because their tongue is reflexively hitting the roof of their mouth in search of milk. This is a late sign of hunger that means your baby has gone much too long without eating.
In order to prevent cries of hunger, you should keep watch for early signs of hunger like lip smacking, thumb sucking, and rooting in search of a source of food.
Keep in mind that babies drink about three ounces every two to three hours — and the older your baby ages and the bigger they become, the more they are going to eat throughout the day.
Babies will also cry after their feeding if they need to burp because they might have swallowed air on accident. If you think your baby needs to release a burp, try holding them over your shoulder and rubbing circles on their sides and back, starting at their hip and working your way up.
Your baby could also have gas after eating. If they are wriggling around and pumping their legs, they probably need help relieving that gas. You can do this by bicycling their legs or pushing their legs up to their chest. It should take care of the problem.
Babies cry when they aren’t feeling well.
If your baby is teething, they will drool excessively and gnaw on anything they can stick into their mouths. Even though you cannot completely take away their pain, you can give them a pacifier or a frozen washcloth to suck on to ease their pain. You can also try giving them a gum massage by running your finger over their gums until you hear a squeaking sound.
Your baby will also cry when they are sick. That is why you should keep your eyes open for additional signs of illness, like whether your baby is pale, flushed, having trouble breathing, developing a fever, or vomiting. If you think there could be a bigger problem, then be safe and make an appointment with the doctor.
Of course, your baby might not be feeling well temporary because their diaper needs changing. That is why you should frequently do the ‘smell test’ or buy a diaper with a wetness indicator that changes colors when it needs changing.
Your baby could also be emotionally upset because they are experiencing too much social interaction. They are not used to people yet, so if they are being passed around at a party filled with loud noises, they could be overstimulated. They could need some peace and quiet.
If your baby won’t stop crying, you should try your best to figure out what is causing them distress so you can fix the problem. However, if you can’t seem to figure out what is wrong, you can try swinging them, shushing them, or placing them on their side.
You could also try the Ferber method — which is when you let your child cry without attempting to soothe them — but it is considered highly controversial.
You have to choose the right method for you. It might take a little while to figure out, but you will get there.