It’s not exactly breaking news that your baby cries. Other than pooping, peeing, and eating, crying is pretty much the only other “activity” that babies do (especially newborns). Even though the rational side of you knows that it’s completely normal for your baby to cry, you’re still stressing. Every new mama goes through this — even the ones who like to pretend they’re perfect on FB and IG — so we’ve got a few explanations for those tears to help you come to grips with them and get your kiddo settled back down.
1. Sleep Woes: Think about how you feel after staying up all night to answer all of your work emails, re-do the report you wrote yesterday, and feed your baby more than a few times. You need sleep, and you’re about ready to burst into tears. So is your baby. Sometimes sleep doesn’t come easily — especially when your baby is overtired, missed a nap, or simply can’t fall asleep. There’s no 100 percent cure for a sleepy-time cry. Your best bet is, well… getting your baby to fall asleep. Rocking, shhhing, or a white noise machine can all help soothe them into dreamland.
2. Hunger: As you grow more accustomed to your baby’s adorable little signs and signals, you’ll be better able to spot hunger before it gets to the point of them crying. But in the beginning it’s all just guesswork. Luckily for you, this type of frustration is absolutely easy to solve: Hand over the boob or the bottle to quell the cry.
3. Acid Reflux: Sometimes there’s not an obvious answer to the “Why is my baby crying like someone is tearing their toenails out?” question. When the valve that connects the esophagus to the stomach is weak or doesn’t close all the way, acid can creep back up. Suspected acid reflux requires a trip to the doctor. Never try to diagnose or treat your baby yourself. Along with examining your baby and making an official diagnosis, the doc can help find a solution to the issue.
4. Dirty Diaper: As you probably suspect, a dirty diaper doesn’t feel good to your baby, and you’ll know when your baby needs a change during your awake hours. But in the middle of the night, your baby’s poopy or wet diaper is likely to wake them up — and you too. Like with hunger, the fix to this crying dilemma is an easy one. Change the diaper, and you’ll have a happy baby again.
5. Loneliness: When your newborn is in their crib, just hanging by themself, they can get lonely. But a baby doesn’t have the verbal skills to say, “Hey mom, I need you around me. Now!” Sure, they’re asleep most of the time. But when baby’s awake and no one else is nearby, the only way they can get your attention is to cry. Oh, and if your grandma tells you that picking up and holding your baby when they cry is a bad thing — don’t listen. You can’t spoil a newborn, and there’s no such thing as too many cuddles, snuggles, and kisses.
6. The Temperature: You’re nervous that the chilly fall air will send your baby off into pneumonia-land. (It won’t. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t anxious.) So you dress them in a onesie. And a pair of leggings. And a long-sleeve t-shirt. And a sweater. And a jacket. And a blanket. And, whoa, your baby just started crying. Chances are they’re way too hot. The same goes for when they’re cold. Dressing baby in one more layer than what you currently feel comfortable in is the way to go here.
7. Overstimulation: There’s a musical mobile twirling above your baby’s head, a white noise machine running, a lightshow coming from some sort of device on their dresser, and toys, toys, toys everywhere. Overstimulating your baby’s senses can put them into cry mode. Take stock of what’s going on around your kiddo. If there are way too many colors, sounds, smells, and other things going on, cut back on the stimulation and let your baby relax.
8. Just Because: Your baby cries like a boss. But that’s kind of in the job description. Sometimes there’s no recognizable reason for your baby’s crying jag, which means the two of you need to just ride it out. Keep in mind, if your baby is constantly crying for no apparent reason (their diaper is fresh, they’re not hungry, they’re not cold, they’re not hot, you’ve cuddled them, etc.) you need to call in the expert. There may be a cause that a doctor can diagnose, so instead of Dr. Google, go for your real doc. The professional can get down to business, figure out what’s going on, and provide real treatment advice.
How do you soothe your baby when they cry? Tweet us your best tip @BritandCo.
(Photos via Getty)