Communicating Through Tears

Babies Cry - They Just Do

Babies cry. That's just a fact. As a new parent, trying to figure out exactly why baby is crying can be a rather stressful task - however; rest assured - you'll figure it out and it won't take as long as you think. Babies are born entirely dependent upon their mothers to furnish all of their needs and crying is one of the ways babies communicate those needs. As babies grow, their ability to communicate their needs and wants change. They learn how to make eye contact, noises and facial expressions (they soon discover that smiling gets the job done).

7 Reason Why Babies Cry

There are seven basic reasons why babies cry. If you're having a hard time soothing your baby, go down the list and try the solutions provided - you may just find an answer to your dilemma.

1. I'm hungry. This is the most common reason for a baby to cry and, the younger the baby is, the more likely it is hunger that is provoking the tears. The first couple of days after birth, babies tend to sleep more than eat. The tiny tummy can't hold much and so baby empties out quickly. If you're breastfeeding, then your milk won't come in for a few days after the baby is born. Colostrum isn't very filling but it is very necessary. Try feeding often to ensure baby is staying full.

2. I'm uncomfortable. It may be a dirty diaper or tight clothing. Sometimes the diaper is too tight and is making baby unhappy. Some babies can't bear to be in a dirty diaper longer than absolutely necessary. Check the diaper to see if changing it is necessary and check the tabs or pins to be sure it isn't fastened too tightly.

3. I'm too hot or too cold. Some babies can't stand the sensation of air on their tiny bodies, so changing the diaper or having a bath can be a real ordeal. The good news is that you'll develop a speed technique that will get the job done and get her warm again in a flash. Usually a baby needs one more layer of clothing than you're wearing in order to be warm enough. Measure baby's heat by touching the stomach. Those tiny hands and feet are almost always cold and aren't a good barometer of body temperature. If the tummy is hot, lighten up on the coverings, if it's cold, as a blanket.

4. Hold Me. Often new babies need to be held closely, feeling your body and finding security in the contact. If baby has been fed and changed and is comfortable in terms of body heat, then holding and cuddling may be the answer for this time. Don't worry about spoiling the baby - it's quite impossible in the first few months of life. If your baby needs to be held a lot, try a sling to carry baby in, allowing baby to be close while you take care of chores and things you have to do.

5. I need to rest. Even though many babies fall asleep when they need to, some don't. When a baby is over-stimulated by lots of handling or attention, it's hard for him to shut things off and settle down. Sometimes when baby cries a lot in response to being held by different people, he may just be asking for some peace and quiet. Take the baby out of the area and into a quiet space where you can soothe and comfort him.

6. I don't feel very well. When your baby is sick you will be able to detect a change in the cry. Babies who are ill often cry in a different tone. Babies who cry frequently may stop crying when they don't feel well and become lethargic and quiet. If you are worried that your baby isn't well, if vomiting, diarrhea or constipation accompany the crying or if your baby has trouble breathing while he or she is crying, call the doctor, health nurse, or midwife. They will always take your concern seriously.

7. I don't know what I need - I just need something. Sometimes you just can't figure out what's going on. Many newborns become fretful for a short period of time and during that time crying can range from high pitched wails to colic. A colicky baby can put a strain on the entire family. Unfortunately, there's no magic cure for colic, but the good news is that it usually doesn't last much longer than three months. Hang in there, the baby will grow out of it.