Why is my baby crying?!
January 14, 2018 | Infant Care, Postpartum
Why is my baby crying?!
Babies don’t have many options when it comes to communication. Often, they give subtle cues for getting help, but quickly escalate to a full blown cry if their situation isn’t remedied–and fast!
Here are a few things to check for in a crying baby:
1. Is my baby hungry?
One of the first things parents think of is “my baby must be hungry!” Here are some things to consider: When is the last time your baby ate? When your baby last breastfed, did you hear swallowing or gulping? Has your milk come in? If breastfeeding, it’s often recommended to use the baby as a guide rather than the clock. If giving a bottle, what was the last time that your baby had a bottle? Did your baby consume all of the expected amount?
2. Does my baby have colic?
Did your baby eat so much that their little tummy is overfull? Watch for spitting up and consider how much formula the baby consumed AND how long it took to consume. Giving a bottle properly allows the baby to draw the milk through the nipple rather than gravity pulling it down to baby and causing overconsumption. Too much too fast can upset a tummy! Let your doctor know if your baby has a lot of gas AND is cranky/upset often.
3. My baby can’t sleep!
It’s common for a baby to need help falling asleep. If it’s been more than 2 hours of awake time with a newborn, consider rocking your baby and “shushing” to help bring on the Zzzzz’s.
4. Is my baby overstimulated?
Newborns are so sensitive! Loud noises, bright lights, being held by strangers, (even being looked at by strangers) can make it very difficult for a baby to maintain their chill. Give your baby a quiet, dim space with a familiar adult to help baby find peace again. (Sometimes parents are stressed/overstimulated–and babies can pick up on those stress hormones, too!)
5. Is my baby too cold? Is my baby too hot?
Check baby’s fashion statement. Florida babies may find their adorable fall and winter themed onesies are inappropriate for our temperatures most days. Babies have trouble regulating their own temperatures–rule of thumb is that they should wear one more layer than the responsible adults in the room.
6. My baby doesn’t like to sleep alone!
Most babies don’t like to be put down while their adult leaves the room. It stresses them out and they feel scared. Historically, newborns had to stay close to an adult for survival. Plus, the AAP states that the safest place for a newborn to sleep is in their own space (crib, pack and play) with an adult in the same room. Consider redecorating temporarily with a pack and play in your own room.
7. Does my baby need to be swaddled?
Most babies need to be swaddled snugly. They may protest during the process, but a good swaddle can help a baby relax.
8. I don’t know why my baby is crying! It’s a mystery!
Sometimes, we just don’t know why a baby is crying. This is the most stressful of all! If we don’t know, we can’t fix it! It’s always a good idea to call your pediatrician to ask for some help deciphering what your baby is trying to tell you if you can’t figure it out.
In the meantime, take a few deep breaths. You’re a great parent, and you’re doing the best you can. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, give The Sunshine Baby Company a call! We have Postpartum & Infant Care Doulas available night and day to pitch in and help comfort a crying baby and stressed parents. Peace is possible with a baby!
Contact us today if you have questions about your crying baby