A common question for moms is “why is my baby crying?” Even after having one, I’ve asked the question with my second. I’ve looked at her frustratingly after three hours of constant crying, asking her what could possibly be wrong!
Don’t worry if you find yourself asking this question. Babies cry for all sorts of reasons; and sometimes it seems like no reason at all.
Here are the most common reasons for a baby to start crying.
She’s Hungry/Sleepy/Needs Her Diaper Changing
I’m putting all of these in one because they are the most common reason for your baby to start crying. When you initially start to hear the moans, go through these three things first.
I look at the clock for the food to determine if it could be that. If it’s not been at least three hours since the last feed, chances are for mine that it is not hunger. So, I’ll move onto the diaper change—doing that anyway. If that’s still not settled her, I’ll try to help her sleep.
Yes, babies cry because they’re sleepy, rather than just falling asleep. It’s not easy for newborns to fall asleep by themselves. They need comfort and the knowledge that you’re there to keep them safe. As they get older, they’ll start to fall asleep wherever they are. At 8 weeks, mine is now starting to fall asleep in her Moses basket on her own, but she does sometimes prefer to be rocked or held.
She Has Wind
A very common reason for tears is wind. Babies have no other way of communicating with you, and they want you to know that they’re in pain.
I can often tell mine is suffering from wind by the way she is kicking her legs. She’ll pull them up, and snort like a pig (the snort is usually food unless she pulls up her legs at the same time for mine). Sometimes I also get her clawing at me for help.
There are a few ways that you can help with this. I rub and pat the back of my little one and that usually helps to bring up a burp. If it needs to go the other way, I’ll rub her lower back or her tummy and that seems to settle it. It can take time to actually see success.
She’s Too Hot/Cold
Before you start panicking as you ask “why is my baby crying,” think about the temperature in the room and the temperature of your baby. Does she have enough layers? Maybe there are too many and the room isn’t at the optimum temperature.
Don’t go by the hands and feet. If your little one is anything like mine, her feet will always be cold (she gets that off me!). Check her tummy or her back to see if she feels too hot or cold. There is nothing wrong with taking a layer off or adding one on if she is uncomfortable.
This is very common when it comes to newborns. They cry because they’re not certain about the world around them. It’s all very new, and they don’t feel safe. Your cuddles offer them the security and safety they need.
I had to invest in a baby sling for my newborn. She want to be held all the time for the first four weeks, and the sling was the only way I was able to get anything done. Now, she doesn’t need it as much but it is still useful for when she does just want to be held.
She Doesn’t Want Cuddles
Likewise, there are times that your baby will cry because she wants you to put her down! This can be hard to accept and even know. There have been times that she’s been inconsolable in my arms, so I’ve put her in her Moses basket or on her playmat and she’ll stop crying!
Now, if she does get to the point where she is always crying in my arms, I’ll put her down to see if that helps. If it does, I know she’s just cried because she wants some freedom.
She Can’t See You!
This has become a common reason for my little one to cry lately. If she can’t see someone, she starts to worry that she is on her own and cries out for attention.
The best way for us to combat this is to put her in her bouncy chair or on her playmat, so she can see what is going on in the world around her. She faces us, so we can keep an eye on her and she knows we’re around at the same time. It’s stopped a lot of tears from everyone in the house!
She Doesn’t Feel Well
Sometimes your little one will have caught a bug. For three weeks, my little one had a bad diaper rash and runny stools. It took trial and error to figure out why and how to clear it all up, and she was so (understandably) grumpy because of it.
If your baby doesn’t feel well, she is going to let you know the only way she knows how. That means crying, and sometimes it can be screaming because she is in pain. Lots of cuddles and calming reassurances will help her, while you figure out what the problem is and how to rectify it completely.
You baby is crying for a reason, even though it sometimes may not seem like it. Eventually, you’ll start to be able to tell the difference between her cries, but at first it is hard. Don’t worry if you can’t figure it out at first. There are plenty of moms—first, second and even fifth time moms—trying to figure it out. Every baby is different, but chances are they want something listed above.
I'm Alexandria Ingham, and am a work at home mommy and full-time freelance writer. Writing has always been a passion from a young age, but it was only in 2009 that I decided to use it to make money online. Since then, I've managed to make a career out of it and don't regret it. While history and weight loss are two of my favorite topics, I love writing about absolutely anything and even have fictional pieces in the works.