Advice & Info Articles:

Why is your baby crying?

Why is your baby crying?

Babies cry on average for one and a half to two hours daily, so you have to remember that crying is normal. A baby can only communicate in a few basic ways, and crying is his foremost communication tool. In the early weeks he is completely helpless and the only language he knows to get you to respond to him is to cry.

However, some babies do cry more than others and may be difficult to comfort. When a baby seems to cry all the time it can be very hard to cope with, and your anxiety and tension may make him worse.

Here are some reasons why your baby might be crying:

  • Is he hungry? Babies’ needs change dramatically from one month to the next, and like adults, sometimes they are more hungry than others. So, if your baby is crying, first offer him some milk
  • Does he need physical comfort? Most babies benefit from being held and cuddled and are far more likely to doze off contentedly in your arms than lying in a cot
  • Is your baby uncomfortable? Perhaps he has trapped wind after a feed - pick him up and hold him gently upright - a burp might be all that he needs
  • Does his nappy need changing? Some babies hate having a dirty nappy, others don’t mind at all. Sometimes changing his nappy distracts him, and you, from his crying
  • Is your baby too hot? Too cold? Young babies are not very good at maintaining an even temperature. Does he look red in the face and feel hot? Or is he pale with cold feet and hands? Ideally, for a baby dressed in a vest and sleepsuit, the room temperature should be around 20°C
  • Is he over stimulated? For a newborn, the little shocks and changes of everyday life can be too much - a loud noise, bright lights, an unexpected face, too much laughter, a sneeze. These are all minor events to us, but to a newborn these new experiences can be very distressing
  • Is he bored? You cannot expect a baby to lie in his cot for long when he is wide awake without interaction and play. This is an important part of learning. If he is bored, pick him up and talk gently to him
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