Causes Of Unexplained Crying
- Hungry Baby. The most common reason babies cry is because they are hungry. They stop crying at the onset of feeding. By the end of the feeding, they are happy.
- Sleepy Baby. The second reason babies cry is they need sleep. They need their parent to put them in a comfortable position. It may be swaddled and on their back. Then they fuss a little and fall asleep.
- Fed Too Much. Some babies cry because of a bloated stomach from overfeeding. Unlike gas, too much milk can cause discomfort that lasts a short time.
- Caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that can cause increased crying and trouble falling asleep. Breastfeeding mothers need to limit their caffeine intake.
- Clothing. Being too hot or too cold can make a baby cry. So can clothing that is too tight.
- Dirty Diaper. Stool is very irritating to the skin. If not cleaned off, it can cause pain and burning.
- Colic. Colic is the main cause of recurrent crying during the early months. All babies have some normal fussy crying every day. When this occurs over 3 hours per day, it’s called colic. When they are not crying, they are happy.
- Pain . Painful causes include an earache, mouth ulcers, or a raw diaper rash. An ulcer on tip of penis may also cause pain and crying. These babies cry a lot and are not happy when they are not crying. They need to see a doctor to make a diagnosis. Fever in this age group is serious until proven otherwise. Shaken baby syndrome is a concern.
Find The Reason Of Crying
When you respond to your babys cry quickly, consistently, and completely, and the crying still does not stop, you may need to examine and determine what is causing the discomfort.
Babies cannot identify or communicate why they are crying. Your job is to figure it out the cause of your baby crying when there is no obvious reason.
About Newborn Baby Behaviour
Sleeping, feeding, crying. Thats what newborn behaviour is all about in the first few months.
Although your baby might give you some eye contact, crying is probably the main thing youll notice about your babys behaviour. For example, your baby will cry because they feel hungry, unsettled, wet or uncomfortable, or just because they need a cuddle. And sometimes your baby will cry for no obvious reason.
Babies are born with very different temperaments. Some are relaxed and easygoing, and others seem to be more intense. Some seem to move constantly, and others are quieter. Some are cheerful most of the time, and others are more serious.
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Can Sleep Training Help
If you suspect your baby needs to learn how to fall back to sleep on their own , we have some good news and some bad news.
The good news is that this problem has a solution. The bad news is that its sleep training.
We wont get into the nitty gritty of how to sleep train here, because there are a lot of methods . Its also just not right for every family.
But if your child has developed an attachment to a routine, a person, or an object to happily fall asleep and theyre waking up in the middle of the night because they dont have it anymore the cold, hard truth is that sleep training is a viable solution.
If youve tried consistently for 2 weeks to soothe your baby back to sleep and youre not making any progress, its reasonable to consider a more formal sleep training approach, advises Ahmed.
FYI, sleep training typically doesnt help babies under 4 months old, so you cant jump into it too early. It also can take some time to work.
Ahmed notes that it takes 2 weeks to both form and break habits, so youve got to be willing to stick with your sleep training plan for a little bit before declaring its not working.
I would stress patience, Ahmed says. A lot of the time when babies are crying in the middle of the night, theres nothing you can do , its a matter of waiting it out, being patient, and staying the course.
Your Baby Is Overstimulated
At many family parties Ive attended, it wasnt unusual to see a baby being passed around from one person to the next. And sometimes, the baby was fussy and crying, overwhelmed with all the new people and sights he was seeing.
We forget how easily stimulated babies can get, and not just in rowdy family parties. You might have run an errand in a loud, new place, or even played with him for long stretches of time.
To keep him from being overstimulated, watch his sleep cues or even the clock so you can put him down for a nap when hes sleepy. You might want to go in a dark room at the first sign of a yawn, or turn white noise on to muffle sudden sounds from outside.
Keep things subdued, from what he sees and hears to where you go to how much you engage with him.
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How Will I Know If My Babys Poorly
- under three months with a temperature of 38 degrees C or more
- three to six months with a temperature of 39 degrees C or more
- on the soles of her feet
- on her palms
- on her tummy
- Croup, with a cough that sounds like a bark.
- Bronchiolitis, with a rasping and persistent dry cough.
- Whooping cough, with the distinctive “whoop” sound.
- Pneumonia, when a cold worsens and causes a cough with thick yellow, green, brown or blood-stained mucus .
Runny or blocked noseEar infection
- pulling, tugging or rubbing his ear
- not noticing quiet sounds
Vomiting and diarrhoeaDehydration
- dry lips, mouth and eyes, with tearless crying
- a sunken fontanelle
- fewer wet nappies than usual
- dark yellow wee
Weight loss or faltering growth
- once a month between the ages of two weeks and six months
- every two months between the ages of six months and 12 months
- no more than once every three months over the age of one
What Does An Eh Cry Mean
You may have heard your little one make eh sounds. But did you know you may be able to decode that too? According to Dunstan Baby Language, there are five baby languages. Abrupt eh sounds usually accompany burps. Neh vocalizations denote that theyre hungry. A heh may mean something is causing them discomfort. The more drawn out eairh says theyre trying to pass gas. And an owh may come with or without a yawn and signal that theyre sleepy. Cool stuff, right?
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Sleep Associations Are A Less Straight
A bit less straightforward reason for babies waking up screaming is the fact that many babies wake up due to their sleep associations. Some sleep associations are pretty straightforward causes of crying upon waking for example, if your babys pacifier falls out, they may very well be pretty frustrated that they cant put it back in, and that may lead to tears!
But some other sleep associations are less easy to spot as the cause of crying upon waking. If you normally rock or feed your baby to sleep, they may cry when they wake up because they are no longer moving and/or sucking. Similarly, if you typically hold your baby for sleep, they may cry if they wake up in their crib and are no longer being held.
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Put Yourself In Their Place
If your babys cry or cues hold no insight to what is troubling her, think about what would bother you if you were them. Is the TV too loud? Is the overhead light too bright? Would you be bored? Then take the appropriate action.
If you suspect your baby is bored, carrying them around in a front-facing carrier or taking them outside in a stroller offers a welcome change of scenery.
To mask ambient sounds in the household and recreate the shushing your newborn heard in the womb, provide calming white noise, such as turning on a fan or the clothes dryer.
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What To Expect At Your Office Visit
The provider will examine your baby and ask about the child’s medical history and symptoms. Questions may include:
- Is the child teething?
- Is the child bored, lonely, hungry, thirsty?
- Does the child seem to have a lot of gas?
- What other symptoms does the child have? Such as, difficulty waking up, fever, irritability, poor appetite, or vomiting?
The provider will check the infant’s growth and development. Antibiotics may be prescribed if the baby has a bacterial infection.
Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome
Remember, it is okay to walk away if you find yourself getting frustrated or angry with your baby or child. Your baby will not be hurt if he or she continues to cry.
Gently and safely place your baby in the crib or swing. Make sure you secure any railings or safety belts before walking away. Check on your baby every 5 to 10 minutes.
- Caution: Never shake your baby. Shaking will not stop the crying and could cause serious brain damage. It is important that all caregivers have this information. For more information on this, see HH-I-366, Shaken Baby Syndrome.
- Arrange for a relative, friend, or baby-sitter to stay with the baby while you get out of the house one evening a week. Go see a movie, shop, go out to dinner, or just take a walk.
- Try to rest when your baby naps. Getting enough rest will help relieve your tension.
If you have any questions, be sure to ask your doctor or nurse or call _____________________.
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Tips For Settling Your Baby
- Once youve checked the basics theyre clean, dry, comfortable and fed consider if they just need to be close to you. Often, babies dont need anything ‘done’ for them, they just want to be held by the people they feel emotionally connected with.
- Hold your baby close to you and gently pat, rock or sway. Use a soothing, reassuring voice to let them know youre there. Sometimes the only way youll be able to settle your baby is to hold them until they fall asleep. See your child health nurse if your baby always needs to be cuddled to sleep.
- Take a walk outside and have a change of scenery this can help because its distracting.
- Try holding them in different positions in your arms. Offer skin-to-skin contact if theyre still very young.
- Offer a dummy if your baby has one.
- Give your baby a warm bath and a massage afterwards. Be sensitive to your babys cues some babies love baths and others dislike being undressed.
- Offer your baby a comforting breastfeed. If your baby is bottle feeding, they may need some extra milk.
- If your baby is younger than 3 months, swaddle them with a light cotton or muslin wrap.
- Put some music on, try humming, singing a song or reading to your baby. The sound of your voice may be enough to soothe them.
- Hand them to another trusted adult. Have a break from the intensity of your babys crying.
In Infants 3 Months And Younger
Babies have little in the way of tools to get us to respond to their needs, says Dr. David L. Hill, FAAP, associate medical editor of Caring for Your Baby and Young Child, 7thEdition, Birth to Age 5. One is looking cute, and the other is crying. These tools are limited in scope, but theyre not limited in power. We are wired to respond to babies crying.
Your infant has many important things to tell you. In the first several months of life, they may be crying because they:
- are hungry
- are overstimulated from noise or activity
- are irritated by scratchy clothing or a tag
- need to be rocked or swaddled
- are in pain or are ill
Surprised that intestinal gas is absent from the list? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, gas passing through the babys lower digestive system isnt painful. You may think thats the reason for their distress because theyre releasing lots of gas during crying jags, but its a myth that gas gets trapped in the intestines and causes pain.
Since there are quite a few reasons for crying, it can be overwhelming to pinpoint the problem. Hill recommends having a checklist, especially in the middle of the night. When youre stumbling around sleep-deprived, its a good way to be sure you consider every possibility for the cause of the squalls, and get your baby and yourself some relief.
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Living With Colicky Baby
Having a colicky baby can be very stressful for parents. It can make you feel tired, guilty, and even depressed. Your baby’s healthcare provider can suggest some things to do that may help to calm your baby. Its important to know that colic is a common condition in young babies. It will go away on its own, often by age 3 months. In most cases it is gone by age 6 months.
If possible, have someone else watch your baby when you become stressed. If no one else is available, make sure your baby is safe and go into another room. Distract yourself from your baby’s cries. Crying will not hurt your baby. Some communities have free or low-cost care called respite nurseries. You can leave your baby there for short periods of time.
Recognize And Cope With Colic
Colic is a general term used for babies who cry more than three hours a day for more than three days a week. A baby with colic will often cry inconsolably despite all attempts to comfort and soothe. The cause of colic, which affects one in five babies, is not clear. Some experts think that colic may be connected to the development of the infants intestinal system, related to acid reflux , or to food allergies.
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