I guess the one and only time we rejoice when our baby cries is when we hear him crying at birth. Any crying episodes thereafter make us feel worried. This is especially true for new parents. They assume that they are not good parents because they cannot stop the crying spell.
To begin with it’s important to know that crying or fussing for 2- 3 hours every day in the first few weeks of life is normal. You cannot do much about it. “Crying” is the only mode of communication for your little one to attract your attention. A smart parent will always try to be calm and listen to what the baby has to say……
1. “I am hungry”…… Almost always, a crying baby is considered to be hungry, which may be true on most occasions, but if feeding him does not help then you may need to dig into other reasons as well.
2. “I am tired”……Babies cry when they are overtired due to a lot of stimulation like excessive handling or prolonged exposure to bright lights or loud sounds. So just cuddle them up. That’s all they want, to feel relaxed.
3. “I am wet and dirty”…… A dirty diaper can irritate the baby’s sensitive skin and make him cry. So please check down there. It’s a good idea to change their diaper every three hours as it reduces the possibility of developing a diaper rash.
4. “I am colicky”……The reason for colic is still a mystery. It refers to baby’s excessive crying and fussy behaviour not caused by any particular medical condition like acid reflux. Just hold him upright on your shoulder and move around. This may help to pacify them.
5. “ I am in pain”……Your baby may be crying due to earache or skin rashes or throat pain or may be feeling windy or might be having some other medical reason like chest congestion or tummy infection or acid reflux which may need appropriate treatment.
6. “It’s too hot or too cold”……If you have over clothed your baby, he may feel too hot and sweaty, which of course can make him cry. However, he may tolerate heat better than cold. So, if he is crying too much, please check the room temperature and make the desired change.
The list of things that can make babies cry is endless, but remember that dealing with crying gets easier for both the mum and the baby as he starts adapting to the new world and gets better at letting you know what he needs. Till then, if you are not confident please seek professional help.
Dr. Preeti Gangan
Pediatrician and Lactation consultant