Babies can only communicate through their crying so how are parents to know what it is they are trying to say. This top ten list might help you get a start on figuring out what they are feeling and help meet their needs.
1. Are they Hungry?
The first one on the list has to be hunger. Babies eat frequently, and so they will get hungry quickly. There are signs you can start to look for like rooting, putting their hands in their mouths, smacking their lips or just being fussy. If you breast feed and you pick you your child and they are hungry they will begin to look for your breast right away, another good indicator of hunger.
2. Do they have a dirty diaper?
Some babies cannot tolerate a dirty diaper, especially if there is a rash. This type of cry might be more insistent if the baby is in pain or uncomfortable.
3. Are they sleepy?
Sometimes when a baby needs to sleep he or she may start crying out of frustration or just exhaustion. Learn to look for signals that they are ready for a nap or bedtime and then take them to a quiet place and reassure them helping them get settled into sleep.
4. Do they just want to be held?
Babies were created by God to want to be near their parents. They need a lot of attention and face to face contact with mom and dad. Sometimes if they are stressed out or just tired they may need some extra reassurance that being held can offer. The first couple of months, you don’t have to worry about spoiling them while you hold them. It isn’t possible at that young of an age.
5. Do they have problems with their tummy?
Digestion is hard for a baby at times. They can get colicky or have gas bubbles. This can be very painful for the baby and sometimes result in inconsolable crying for long periods of time. There are drops or herbs you can try and see if they help. Just be sure to consult with your physician beforehand and if it continues to be a problem to illuminate any other possible causes such as lactose intolerance, reflux, flu or allergies. Does the baby tend to cry more after they are fed? If so, it might just be gas trapped inside from taking air in through the bottle. You can hold the baby and do the traditional patting on the back, or lay the baby on his or her tummy to see if they will burp on their own.
6. Are they comfortable temperature wise?
Babies are sensitive to temperature change. Their skin is much thinner and so they can feel the effects more than we can. They will tend to cry more when they are cold that if they are too warm.
7. Are They in Physical pain?
Babies are very sensitive and can be bothered by itchy clothes, tags or fabric. Sometimes a hair might get wrapped around a toe or finger and cut off the circulation which will also cause pain. They might also be over stimulated by too much sound or light so look around the room as well for environmental things you could change.
8. Are they starting to Teethe?
Teething will start around 4 – 7 months. Teething can sometimes be painful and some babies suffer more than others. Most will likely be fussy and tearful along the way. You can try feeling your baby’s gums to see if there is a hard baby tooth on its way.
9. Have they been Overwhelmed?
Sometimes life can be overwhelming for all of us, but for a newborn it is a lot to take it. They can get over stimulated by sound, lights, and interaction with too many people. Crying might be a way for them to deal with it. If your baby seems to be having an emotional meltdown, it is time for a time out. Try taking them to a serene spot and just let them cry it out until they can go to sleep or settle down.
10. Are they feeling well?
Sometimes when a baby is getting sick, they may just cry. A sick baby cry is different than others. Take their temperature if they feel warm and call the Dr. You may want to also give them some Tylenol if they are running a fever.
Having a crying baby is one of the most frustrating things for a parent. But if you tried everything on this list, and your baby is still crying you can take solace in knowing that it will eventually pass. Overtime you will learn to discern the different cries and hopefully put an end to it more quickly!