There are so many difficulties you will face as a new mother. But one of the most often asked questions is; how to soothe a fussy baby. And because every baby is different, what worked for one of your babies might not work on others.
It’s a learning process that never ends. Sometimes you feel like your baby is “crying for no reason.” But that’s simply not true. Babies have to cry to communicate to you that something is wrong.
Go over this list of reasons why babies cry and see if you’ve considered all of them as the cause of your baby’s sadness.
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1. They’re hungry
This is one of the most common reasons babies cry. Eventually, you will learn the signs your baby gives you to indicate they are hungry before they actually start fully crying.
So you will usually be able to tell whether or not they are hungry. But, sometimes they just want to nurse, or feed for comfort.
2. They need a diaper change
Nobody would njoy sitting in a soiled diaper, so this is a no brainer as to why they could be upset. It’s one of the fastest and easiest things to rule out.
As newborns, they often blow out of their diaper, which would be even more uncomfortable than just a soiled diaper. I always check for a dirty diaper first.
3. They’re tired
When a baby is tired or exhausted, they are going to be fussy. Sometimes they will just peacefully fall asleep. And other times they will fight it to the death.
It’s almost as if the more exhausted they are, the harder they fight it. I noticed this a lot with my daughter when her naps were shorter, she’d go to bed later– and she would fight it. The car would always work, that knocked her out every time. Another tried and true tactic is swaddling. I SWEAR by these Muslin Swaddles. Magic!
4. They’re teething
Oh yes, teething. It’s no wonder they cry when they have teeth trying to tear through their gums. Their mouth hurts, chewing on things somehow relieves the pain and also makes it worse at the same time. Eating hurts, they can’t sleep, and they don’t know why. I would cry too. Try some baby Orajel or teething tablets.
Another thing that seems to work for a ton of babies is this Amber Teething Necklace.
5. They’re sick
As an adult, I can admit to wanting to cry when I’m sick. Whether it’s a sore throat, I have a fever, my muscles ache, or I’m nauseated… I’m miserable. Being sick is so annoying, and for adults, there are lots of different medications we can take, and we can just force ourselves to sleep through it. Babies don’t have many options for when they’re sick. And they don’t know that they are sick. They just know that they are miserable, and it sucks.
The biggest lifesavers for a sick baby are a humidifier, baby Vicks chest rub, and essential oils. There are a few over the counter medications out there that are suited for babies, but just make sure you’re using the correct dosage determined by weight, not age.
6. Tummy Pain
Stomach pain in babies can be caused by so many things. Gas is a huge cause of tummy pain, and gas pain REALLY hurts. It’s a sharp, stabbing pain. To help with gas, try gas drops, burp them, bicycle exercises, lay them on their back and bend their knees into their chest and put slight pressure into their tummy. You can also try laying them on their tummy and sticking their bum in the air.
Another common tummy issue is a food allergy or sensitivity. A lot of babies are sensitive cows milk or different proteins. Try changing up your diet if you’re breastfeeding, or switching formulas if you bottle feed. Ask your doctor before making changes to your babies diet.
7. They’re uncomfortable
Sometimes your baby will just simply be uncomfortable. Have you ever just tossed and turned in bed because you just couldn’t get comfortable, it’s frustrating right? Well, that happens to your baby too.
Maybe they are too hot, or too cold. My daughter was very temperature sensitive. It had to be just the right temperature for her. Or maybe they just want to be held and be comforted. They could just miss you.
Lastly, they could have Colic. The causes of Colic are unknown, but it’s identified as inconsolable crying for a prolonged period of time. It’s thought to be discomfort in the abdomen. This can be so frustrating for parents because nothing seems to make them happy.
But you have to remember, if you are angry about the crying, and how frustrating it is… Think about how frustrated your baby is, they are in pain, and nothing is working. Show empathy, don’t stop trying, don’t just give up and let them cry. Keep trying, for their sake. Colic usually resolves itself by the time the baby is five months old.
I know it’s hard to listen to a crying baby. But just keep trying. Try different things over and over again until you find something that helps. Sometimes certain things will help that didn’t before, you just never know. Don’t give up mama, you can do this!
*If you truly feel that you’ve tried everything, have your pediatrician check your baby over to see if they can see anything wrong medically that might be causing your baby to cry.