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Reasons why babies cry & how to soothe them

 
Babies communicate through crying. It’s their way of saying ‘I need you’ in some way. However sometimes trying to understand what they’re telling you through their crying can be a bit of a challenge, especially in those early months. Check out these common reasons why babies cry and what you can do to help.
Babies communicate through crying. It’s their way of saying ‘I need you’ in some way.

However sometimes trying to understand what they’re telling you through their crying can be a bit of a challenge, especially in those early months.

Check out these common reasons why babies cry and what you can do to help.
 

8 Common reasons why babies cry


1. Hunger

 
  • Is your baby hungry? You may have just fed them, but it’s possible they could still be hungry.
 
  • Try not to be too rigid on times and amounts to feed as babies needs change from day to day.
 
  • One day they may need more milk than the day before to feel satisfied.
 

2. Tiredness

 
  • Look for early cues of tiredness such as a first yawn, a glazed stare, jerky movements with their hands and legs or facial grimaces.
 
  • By noticing these early signs of tiredness and putting your baby to sleep promptly you may avoid an overtired wailing cry.
 
  • If your little one wakes early from a nap and still seems tired, give them a rhythmic pat on their back to see if they will go back for a more substantial sleep.
 

3. Too hot or too cold

 
  • Young babies are still developing the ability to regulate their own temperature.
 
  • Place your hand on their back or on the back of their neck for a more accurate indication of their temperature rather than putting your hand on their forehead.
 
  • Normally one more layer than you are wearing should be enough for your baby. So if you have on a t-shirt and light sweatshirt your baby may need a bodysuit, top and jacket.
 
  • Check their cot is not in direct hot sun or in a drafty spot.
 

4. Dirty nappies

 
  • Some babies are very sensitive to a wet feeling or dirty nappy so changing their nappy may be all they need.
 
  • Young babies like to feel free and have ‘no nappy’ time too, so try putting some cloth nappies or a towel on the floor and letting them have some time to kick and play au natural!
 

5. Need reassurance

 
  • Sometimes your baby just needs YOU for a while. A big cuddle may be the magic solution.
 
  • Some babies like to be in a front pack or sling close to you.
 
  • Swaddling is another way to help reassure an unsettled baby.
 

6. Boredom

 
  • As your baby gets older they’re more likely to get bored or restless.
 
  • A change of environment such as going for a walk outside or even going to sit together in the backyard may be all it takes.
 
  • Or try holding your baby so they can see you and sing some songs or nursery rhymes to help entertain them.
 
  • You may feel calmer too with a change of environment which your baby will pick up on and will help them to settle too. Babies are very intuitive to our feelings.
 

7. Teething

 
  • It often seems that with any upset baby 'teething' is deemed the culprit.
 
  • Of course it may well be teething, but it is important to also eliminate any other potential causes.
 
  • Signs of illness are often missed and put down to the teething process which can be a real risk to your baby.
 
  • While teething may cause discomfort it shouldn’t cause fever, diarrhoea or pain that causes your child to wake or cry for hours.
 
  • Trust your instincts; if you feel it is more than teething seek medical advice.
 
  • If it is teething try a specific teething ring which you can cool in the fridge.
 

8. Illness

 
  • Being unwell is bound to mean extra crying.
 
  • Babies can’t tell us their symptoms so seek medical help quickly if you feel your child is unwell and don’t be afraid to see a doctor if they get worse.

 

Nothing is working!

 
  • Babies are hardwired to cry so that their needs are met, but it can be really exhausting both physically and mentally when you have had no sleep and you have a crying baby.
 
  • Take any help offered. Share the load at night if you have a partner or family member to give you a break, and nap in the day when your child does to catch up if you can.
 
  • A babies cry can naturally bring out feelings of stress in people. If you ever feel yourself getting angry, stop, put your baby in a safe place, such as their cot and take a breather in another room for a few minutes.
 
  • Phone and ask for help from a friend, relative or an agency such as Plunketline (0800 933 922).
  

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Source: This article has been written by Creators, a nationwide service offering quality home-based care and education. Creators are passionate about seeing every child’s unique talent being recognized and nurtured.
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