When your baby cries for seemingly no reason, it can be overwhelming and frustrating. Here are some helpful tips.
A baby cannot tell you with words when something is wrong, when she needs something or when she wants something. So, when your baby cries, it is her way of communicating to you.
Why Your Baby Cries
When your baby is hungry, she cries and then stops once you feed her. The same is true if she has a dirty diaper, she stops crying after you change her. Some of the other reasons your newborn baby may be crying:
- Needs to burp
- Wants to be held
- Needs to sleep
- Has a hurt tummy from gas or colic
- Is too hot or too cold
- Is in pain from something not easily noticed
- Is in pain from teething
- Needs more stimulation
- Wants less stimulation
- Isn’t feeling well
But what happens when you’ve addressed all the obvious things but your baby continues to cry?
When Your Baby Continues to Cry
This is not an uncommon problem. New and experienced parents alike find themselves in this situation and don’t always know what to do. It can be easy to get overwhelmed and frustrated, which doesn’t help when trying to find a solution. So, here are some things you can try to console your baby, things that other parents have done that have worked:
Swaddling – before a baby is born, they are ever so comfortable in their tight quarters inside their mother’s uterus. So, it stands to reason that they will continue to find comfort being wrapped up warm and tight. Some have found that the tighter they swaddle, the happier their baby is, especially when they hold their baby up close to them too.
Sucking – this is a very soothing activity for a newborn baby. It can help steady a baby’s heartbeat and even relax her stomach. Giving your baby a pacifier or even your finger often does the trick.
Music – baby’s often like soothing music, such as a lullaby. You may want to experiment with different types of music. In addition to hearing the music, a baby may also like movement. So trying dancing gently while holding or snuggling her.
White noise – when a baby is in the womb, it is far from quiet. A baby hears sounds from the outside world as well as from inside, such as the mother’s heartbeat. Your baby may be calmed by hearing “white noise” once outside the womb. For instance, they may like the sound of running water, a fan, or something as loud as the vacuum cleaner. There are apps you can download that just play white noise. This may be a helpful option to experiment with different sounds.
Warm water – just as you may enjoy a warm shower or bath, so too may your little one. Try holding your baby in a warm shower, letting the water gently run over her. Or try a warm bath.
Movement – in addition to dancing to music, your baby may just want move. Try carrying her in your arms, rocking in a rocking chair, riding in the car, swinging gently. You can try gently bouncing up and down while holding your baby.
Crying – sometimes your baby just needs to let it out. Maybe they have been overstimulated. Remember, crying doesn’t hurt your baby. You may want to lay her in her crib and just walk away for 5 minutes or so. This may give you a chance to settle your nerves and may let your baby get out her frustration. Then, when you go in and pick her up, she may be ready to settle down.
When These Solutions Fail to Work
What now? You’ve done all the obvious things, you’ve tried all of the suggestions mentioned above to try and console your baby, but she’s still crying.
In this situation, be sure you keep your cool and remember to never shake your baby. If you feel that your baby is crying because she is in pain or may have something wrong, contact your pediatrician at once. But some babies go through a period, maybe days or weeks, where they just cry. It may be due to colic, you have heard of “colicky babies” and this is a viable reason.
Colic is severe pain in the abdomen caused by gas or an obstruction in the intestines. It can be very painful and uncomfortable, which is why no matter what you do your baby continues to cry. You may not be able to make it better.
If there is no other condition that requires medical attention, you may just have to wait it out. What are some ways you can give yourself a break and help ease your stress? We will discuss this in the next article.