Sometimes you hold your baby in your arms, talking gently, swinging softly side to side and then….the crying starts. You've checked your baby’s nappy it’s clean, feeding has already been done so your baby isn’t hungry and they already went down for a nap... You have tried everything but you can’t seem to get your baby to stop, panic sets in as you begin to worry what is wrong with your little one… Don’t worry; this is a common problem for most parents dealing with a crying baby.
Why Do Babies Cry?
All babies cry from time to time, although some more often than others. Crying is your baby’s way of communicating to you, telling you that they are feeling troubled. From feeling uncomfortable, being in pain, wanting food, being tired, being cold, and feeling hot, thirsty or bored. Your baby has different cries, to express what mood they are in. Gradually you will begin to tell one cry from another, which will help you to determine what your baby needs. By responding to your baby’s cries, it will strengthen the emotional attachment between both of you, forming a close bond. Here are some reasons why your baby may cry and how your baby’s cry may sound:
Feeling hungry – In all babies, crying because of hunger is an automatic response. Typically, a baby’s cry starts off rather quiet then begins to get louder and louder. There may be occasional pauses for a few seconds in between.
Needs to be changed – Your baby hates being in a dirty or wet nappy. It makes them feel uncomfortable. To let you know, your baby will probably begin to wiggle their body. Even though, the crying isn’t continuous your baby will keep crying until their nappy is changed.
Feeling bored – Your baby will get bored sometime during the day. There is only so much that they can do to amuse themselves before they need you to play, interact or talk with them. When bored, your baby’s cries sound like a shout, not distressed, just loud enough to get your attention.
Over stimulated – Your baby can feel over stimulated by all the sights and sounds around them. By being picked up, looked at, held and rocked. It is typical to occur during the end of the day. You may notice your baby’s body stiffening, pushing out their arms and legs and possibly crying more when you pick them up.
How To Deal With Common Crying Problems
There are often times or situations that make your baby cry for less known reasons, than those listed above. This is normally frustrating for you, especially when you have done everything that you can think of to try and get your baby to stop.. A lot of parents have gone through the same situation as you may be facing and they have all gotten through it by implementing some basic strategies. The strategies that are listed in the table below will enable you to deal with your baby’s crying.
Below are some techniques that you can use to deal with Common Crying Problems with your baby:
My baby cries when I leave the room:
- Your baby isn’t able to see you or hear you, which could be the cause of the crying. Usually this is due to separation anxiety.
My baby cries from being over stimulated:
- Try to reduce the activities that are happening around them. It’s best to try and darken the room and don’t make eye contact or speak with your baby, just until your baby settles. Use low sounds like “sshhh” or a low hum. It’s best to lay your baby down, rather than holding them and place one hand on your baby to give them the idea of keeping still. Your baby may continue to cry for a few more minutes to release built up tension, so it might be a good idea to leave your baby alone for a while.
My baby cries from frustration:
- Your baby becomes frustrated when they try to accomplish something and they just can’t. Being told “no” is also frustrating for your baby, which can also cause crying. Try and offer your baby help when they are trying to accomplish something, e.g. reaching for a toy you could bring it closer. You can also distract your baby by finding something else interesting to do. It’s also a good method to use instead of saying ‘no’ all the time.
My baby cries just to annoy me:
- It’s important you take your baby’s crying seriously. No baby cries “just to annoy you”. There should always be a reason for your baby’s crying. No matter how frustrated you are with all your baby’s crying and screaming, do your best to find out what is troubling them.
My baby cries when left with a baby sitter:
- Even though hearing your baby’s cries is heart breaking for you, it will begin to decrease over time. Manage these moments firmly yet lovingly. Avoid making a terrible fuss when your baby cries with lots of cuddles and words of reassurance. Your baby will begin to realize that when you are about to leave all they have to do is cry to get your attention again. The best approach – when the babysitter arrives, put on your coat, give your baby a kiss, say goodbye and leave – even when they are screaming and crying.
As your baby grows and develops, they will gradually learn other ways to communicate with you. They will begin to get better at making eye contact, making noises and using facial expressions, which will reduce the need of crying. Remind yourself that it is just a phase and it will pass.
How to Deal With A Crying Baby
As a parent it can be difficult to determine the best approach for dealing with your crying baby. Some say to ignore your baby when they begin to cry but that’s easier said than done. Especially when it’s you who has to hear all the crying… instead you pick your baby up and cuddle them so they don’t feel lonely or neglected. Is this the best approach? Well…you need to be flexible. Sometimes it can be appropriate to leave your baby a little longer while at other times, what your baby needs is a cuddle. It is really up to you to decide what is best. It is important that when you choose to comfort your baby, make sure to use one technique consistently before giving up and changing to something else. Here are some techniques you can use to settle your crying baby:
Bathing – You can make a nice warm bath for your baby. Make sure to hold them gently but firmly. Holding and cuddling your baby close to you can also provide them with comfort. If your baby doesn’t want to be lifted, lay them in their cot. You can gently stroke your baby’s cheeks and forehead.
Movement – Gently begin rocking your baby back and forth, in your arms or in a swing. This could keep your baby calm. Another option is to take your baby for a drive in the car. They may end up falling to sleep, due to the movement of the car.
Singing – Sometimes the sound of your voice, the soft tone you use and the familiarity of your voice could be all your baby needs to concentrate on. Some babies also like some steady noise in the background, such as a fan or even some gently played sleeping music.
Amusement – Try and give your baby a toy to play with. Their interest in an object makes your baby forget their distress and the reason for their crying.
If you begin to try one technique after another, your baby will not get used to it because you are not using them for long enough. Continue with one of the above techniques until you are sure it has no effect on your baby’s crying.
When dealing with your crying baby, never underestimate your baby’s abilities. Every time you run over to your baby as soon as they cry, they will begin to realize that crying is an effective way to get your attention. It’s best to wait for a few seconds before responding to your baby’s cries. Your baby will also learn how to deal with situation on their own.