From birth till the time your child learns to communicate, crying is the only way she expresses herself. To convey any need or discomfort, the infant resorts to crying to catch your attention. But for a new mom, the crying can sometimes be very flustering and taxing. Till the time your baby starts to talk, use our guide to figure out why she is crying.
Why is my baby crying?
An infant in her early stage (0 to 1 year of age) cries for several reasons and she does it at different times of the day, and even after waking up from sleep. With her not being able to talk, we can only guess what is it that the child is asking for. Here are some of the probable reasons:
- Immediately after delivery- Just after birth the baby’s cry signifies intake of oxygen into the lungs for the first time. In the womb, babies’ intake oxygen through placenta via the umbilical cord and crying within few seconds of being born signifies that the baby’s lungs have kick-started. The first cry gets rid of the excess amniotic residue present in the lungs, mouth and nasal passages. It also helps the doctor to evaluate baby’s adaptation ability to life outside the uterus.
- Hunger- The younger the baby, the more likely she will feel hungry often. They have small appetites and possibly every pee or poop leaves their stomach empty.
- Physical discomfort- Another important reason for the baby to be wailing her lungs out is an attempt to get your attention to the fact that her diaper is soiled and needs a change.
- Temperature change- Infants initially find it difficult to regulate their body temperature in accordance to the environment. So when she feels cold or may be too hot she may cry to indicate discomfort.
- Physical proximity- Newborn babies need a lot of physical closeness. Babies look for the familiar warmth and cozyness of the womb and a skin-to-skin touch is the closest that comes to it. So, to feel and be assured about the presence of her mom, the baby may resort to crying.
- Need for rest and sleep- Newborns’ need a lot of rest and sleep comfort. But at times the baby cannot just sleep by herself. That is the time when she cries, nags, whines to express the need of rest.
- Colic and illness- Colic is a common cause that makes babies cry. Experts believe that it is the contraction in the intestines that causes them pain. And can lead to hours of inconsolable crying. Other reasons could include pain, stuffy nose, inability to breathe, insect bites etc. or just a general feeling of discomfort .
To handle crying, work by the elimination theory: give the baby milk, change her diaper, check her clothes for too warm or cold, hold her close to make her feel secure, warm and loved. Try and gently rock your baby if the baby is not getting comforted. Sometimes a change of scene–take your baby outside in the open/another room also helps. At times, offer your baby clean finger tips to suck on.
Importantly, when the baby is crying, do not get worked up. Babies sense emotions. Instead try soothing sounds, talking gently, singing or humming to your baby.
Also, in case you have a colicky baby, ask your paeditrician for some colic medicine to soothe the baby.