10 Reasons Why Baby Cries

Babies cry for many reasons. Crying is a baby's primary means of communication. It's their only way of expressing their needs and getting your attention. At first, it can be difficult to interpret your baby's different cries. However, as the days go by and you spend more time with your baby, you'll be better able to recognize his specific needs and respond to them in the best possible way.

Why do babies cry?

Your baby depends entirely on you. When a baby cries, it's his or her way of asking for attention or care.

  • I cry because I'm hungry

A mother bottle-feeds her baby
Hunger is often the cause of crying in newborns, especially in the first few weeks after birth.

Your baby's stomach is small and cannot take in much food. If your baby cries, offer him a little milk, as he may be hungry even if it's been a while since his last feed or bottle.

  • I cry because I'm tired

Baby sleeps lying down
Your baby may have trouble falling asleep, especially if he's very tired. The younger your baby is, the more the sleep are subtle, and it may take a few weeks for you to recognize them. In general, the signs of fatigue in a baby are nervousness and crying at the slightest annoyance, staring into space or very quiet behavior. Teach your child to calm himself down and go to sleep.

  • I just want to cry

A crying baby
If your baby is less than five months old, he or she may cry in the late afternoon and evening. This is normal, even if it can be very stressful for you. A crying baby who is in good health often suffers from colic.

Cuddling, rocking your baby, going for a ride in the car or making a muffled sound with a hair dryer, for example, can help soothe your child's cries.

  • I'm crying because I want my diaper changed

Mother changes baby's diaper
Your baby may protest by crying because his diaper is dirty. Similarly, if his sensitive skin is irritated, he will express this by crying. Always use protective cream for diaper changes and, if possible, leave your baby without a diaper from time to time.

If your baby doesn't like having his diaper changed, it may be because of the sensation of cold air on his skin. After a week or so, you'll probably be a pro at stealth diaper changes. But before that, you can distract your baby with a song or toy to keep him occupied for a few moments.

  • I cry because I need a hug

Baby sleeps on his father's stomach
Babies often need a lot of cuddling and reassurance. Use a baby sling to keep your child close to you, rocking and singing.

  • I need to burp

If your baby cries during or just after feeding, he may be experiencing flatulence. Flatulence is really just air sucked into your baby's tummy when he eats or cries. Stroke or rub your baby's back to help him burp.

  • I cry because I'm hot

Baby is too hot
Don't overdress your baby, or he may get too hot. One layer more than you are usually enough to make him feel comfortable. You can check whether your baby is too hot or too cold by feeling his tummy or the back of his neck. Don't be guided by the temperature of your baby's hands or feet. It's normal for them to feel colder than the rest of the body.

  • I'm crying because I'm cold

Warmly dressed baby
Your baby may hate being diapered or bathed. Perhaps he's not used to feeling the cold air on his skin. But rest assured, if this is the case, you'll soon be able to change his diaper in no time! When it's time to siesta or sleeping, try to keep the temperature in your baby's room between 16 and 20 degrees, neither too cold nor too hot.

  • I cry because I don't feel well

Sick baby crying
Watch for changes in your baby's behavior. If he's ill, he'll probably start crying in a different way. His cries may be weaker, more alarming, continuous or high-pitched. Teething, for example, may upset your baby more than usual. Babies are often irritable and restless the week before a new tooth appears.

Nobody knows your baby better than you do. If you sense that something is wrong, trust your instincts and call your doctor, midwife or pediatrician without delay.

  • There's too much commotion

If your baby has received a lot of attention and cuddles from the family, for example, he's probably been over-stimulated. Take him to a quiet place to soothe him.

If your baby continues to cry despite your best efforts, try one of our 6 ways to calm baby's crying.

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