If you’re like most parents, you don’t have to look very far to find out why your baby might be crying. But there are many reasons that infants cry, and it can be difficult to tell what’s wrong or how to help them stop. That’s why we’ve created this guide on why babies cry, so you can learn to identify what might be causing their cries and know the best way to respond each time they start wailing in distress!
Why Babies Cry
There are many reasons why babies cry, but there is one reason that almost always trumps all others: hunger. One common misconception is that a crying baby is teething; in reality, teething does not cause them to cry. On top of being hungry, here are other possible reasons for a baby’s discomfort and tears
What is Colic?
Colic is a term used to describe any infant who cries for more than three hours per day, for more than three days per week, for more than three weeks. Babies with colic can also have difficulty sleeping. Colic can start as early as two weeks after birth and continues until they are four months old, though it often goes away by five months of age.
Typically, babies will be diagnosed with colic if all other possible causes (food allergies or intolerances, diaper rashes) have been ruled out. Luckily, there are steps you can take to help your baby and reduce their symptoms of colic. Remember to always consult with your child’s pediatrician before making any changes to their diet or sleep habits.
How to Deal with Colic
Colic is a term used to describe excessive crying in an otherwise healthy infant. It is estimated that up to 40% of babies experience colic symptoms during their first 3 months. Usually, it goes away on its own by 4–6 weeks of age.
Experts don’t know exactly what causes colic, but some things may make your baby more likely to have it, like breast-feeding or introducing a bottle early on. If you’re wondering why is baby crying and how to stop baby from crying, there are a few things you can try at home before getting help from your doctor. Here are some natural remedies for colic
Common reasons why babies cry
1 Hunger or Thirst
If your baby is fussy, it could be because she’s hungry or thirsty. If you just fed her or gave her a drink and she’s still crying, try burping her again to see if that will help. You can also try offering your breast again; sometimes babies just don’t take enough milk at one time and they need to have another feeding session.
Gassy: If your baby is gassy, he may be uncomfortable and crying as a result. Try gently rubbing his tummy in a clockwise direction (if you were going around with an hour hand) with your hand placed directly over his belly button; it should soothe him quickly if he has gas.
When babies are overtired, they don’t sleep. Sleep deprivation is a sure-fire way to upset your little one and make him or her cry. Many parents of newborns wonder how long they should let their children cry before intervening – but if you’re running on no sleep at all, it can be hard to figure out what constitutes too long.
Babies have different cries for different reasons: some are hungry; others need a diaper change or want a cuddle. If your baby is sleeping too much (or not enough), check his diaper for wetness and his schedule for hunger cues, then readjust as needed.
Babies are incredibly sensitive to stimuli, so when they’re in an over-stimulated state, there’s a good chance that you or your child is over-stimulating. You may be moving too quickly, talking at her too loudly or making too many faces (i.e., if you’re doing any of these things, she may have associated your face with an experience in which she was over-stimulated).
Even if you’re doing nothing to over-stimulate your baby, though, there are a few other reasons why she might be crying. Remember that newborns don’t perceive time as we do—they don’t understand why they can’t nurse right now when they’ll need food again in three hours.
4 Tummy discomfort/pain
Some babies simply don’t feel well. Tummy pain, even when it isn’t related to digestion, can be particularly bothersome for babies. While gas discomfort typically is temporary, your baby’s abdomen may also hurt from a viral or bacterial infection. If your baby develops a fever and is lethargic or irritable, call your pediatrician right away; those are signs of an infection and your doctor may want to give you some advice about how to manage symptoms until you can get in for an appointment.
On the other hand, if you’re in doubt about what might be causing your baby’s tummy trouble or she has trouble eating/drinking/burping after feedings, call your pediatrician so that they can determine whether there might be something more serious going on.
5 Other Types of Discomfort
If your baby is fed, clean and dry and still crying, it may be because he or she is uncomfortable from one of several causes. Newborns are particularly susceptible to heat and cold, so if you live in a drafty house or an apartment with poor insulation, your infant may have trouble regulating his or her body temperature. Other causes for baby discomfort include hunger (remember that newborns can go a long time between feedings), gas pains and colic.
Babies also cry when they’re overstimulated by light, sound or other people—or by nothing at all. In any case, listen closely: Sometimes cries will tell you what’s wrong; sometimes they won’t.
Some babies are relaxed and easily adapt to new situations; they rarely cry, even when they’re fussy. Others start crying immediately upon birth or after a short period of calm. In both cases, it can be frustrating for parents to try to figure out why their baby is crying. While there isn’t one specific reason that causes all babies to cry, each child has their own unique personality and characteristics.
When your baby is crying and you don’t know why, it can be scary. However, by figuring out if she’s hungry, wet or tired and giving her what she needs when she needs it, you’ll prevent a lot of unnecessary screaming. Babies can feel secure in their world with consistent care from parents. If you follow these steps, your baby will feel more secure and be less likely to cry for no reason. In turn, everyone will get more sleep—you’ll thank yourself later!