Did you know this?
- Most babies cry the most during the first four months of life.
- Starting at about 2 weeks of age, your baby may cry for no apparent reason and it can be hard to console.
- Many babies have a fussy time of day, often during the late afternoon to early evening when they are tired and unable to relax.
- If you know some reasons why babies cry, then you can identify what the problem is and resolve it with some simple advice from Baby G.
Most Common Reasons Why Babies Cry and Solutions
Offer your breast or the bottle to see if it helps. Even if they’re not hungry, your infant may just want to suck on something for comfort. You can use a pacifier or have your baby suck on their own finger or thumb.
One of the best ways to encourage slumber is to swaddle your baby. Wrap them snugly in a blanket with only the head and neck peeking out. It helps mimic the mother’s womb. A change of scenery also may do the trick. Go for a walk with a stroller. Or pack your baby in a car seat — the lulling vibration of the car may get them to drift off.
If you think your baby has a food allergy, talk to your pediatrician. If you’re breastfeeding, your doctor may suggest you stop eating a single food (for example, milk or eggs) for a week to see if your baby’s fussiness lessens. If you’re using infant formula, ask your doctor about switching to a different formula.
Change every 2-3 hours. The acid content of a bowel movement may irritate your baby’s skin.
A baby’s ear canal is much smaller and more sensitive than an adult. When sounds enter the canal they become louder. Noisy toys and games can cause hearing damage.
Take breaks and burp your baby often during meals. Feed them while they’re sitting up. You might try special nipples and bottles designed to prevent swallowing too much air. If that doesn’t help, reflux may be the culprit. Talk to your pediatrician. About 80% of the time, babies with mild reflux get better with thickened formula, staying away from cigarette smoke, and getting older.
What is colic and how do I address it?
Colic is a condition where a healthy infant has periods of frequent, prolonged and intense crying or fussiness.
About 1 in 5 newborns get this condition, which is marked by more than 3 hours of crying a day, three times a week. It usually happens during the first month after birth.
These sudden crying jags may be louder and higher-pitched than usual. Your baby’s face might redden, their belly may bulge, and their legs may be bunched up.
How to soothe
It’s not clear what causes colic, but it usually stops on its own by 3 or 4 months. Until then, you might:
- Rock or walk with your baby.
- Run the vacuum or clothes dryer to lull them to sleep.
- Offer a pacifier.
- Ask your doctor if extracts of fennel, chamomile, or other herbal remedies might help.
- Take breaks for yourself so you can best care for your baby.
If your baby continues to cry for a long time, check with your doctor to make sure there isn’t something serious going on.
Call your pediatrician if your crying baby does any of the following:
- Has been inconsolable for more than 2 hours
- Has a temperature of more than 100.4°F
- Won’t eat or drink anything or is vomiting
- Isn’t peeing or has bloody poops, or doesn’t respond to anything