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Learn why babies cry and how to soothe them

Learn why babies cry and how to soothe them
September 09
08:49 2014

Babies cry, it is a fact and there is no getting around it. Crying is baby’s way of communicating. However, sometimes understanding why your baby is crying and how to soothe him/her can be extremely daunting. In addition, first time moms become extremely worried when their kids cry and they find it hard to establish the reason or soothe them.

Let’s try and find out why babies cry and how to soothe them. Here we will be discussing few very common reasons, why babies cry and simple ways to soothe them.

I am hungry:

One of most common reasons why babies cry is- hunger. The newborns cry whenever they feel hungry. The stomach of baby’s is very small as a result, they can’t hold very much and they feel hungry in every few hours and start crying to communicate their problem. So, whenever, your child cries, trying offering some milk.

When babies cry due to hunger, in general they immediately stop crying, as soon as you offer them milk, or sometimes they may not stop crying instantly, but let him or her keep feeding for some more time.

I just want to cry:

Babies when younger than about 5 months old, he or she may cry in the late afternoon and evenings. This doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with your baby, it can be normal. The mood swing or unhappiness can last for few minutes to few hours. And sometimes baby’s become so frustrated that they refuse to calm down.

It can be troublesome to see them in such a condition, but worrying is not the solution. Stay calm and rest assured that your baby would come out of this trying phase. This ‘just like that’ crying behavior of completely healthy baby is traditionally referred as colic. Some people also correlated colic with digestive problems and wind and tummy.

Ronald Barr- an expert on baby crying has suggested a new term for this phase of crying. He calls it the “Period of PURPLE crying”. PURPLE stands for popular traits of crying and term word shows that baby’s continuous crying won’t last forever.

The letters in PURPLE stand for:

  • P for peak of crying: your baby may cry more each week, the most at two months of age, then less at between 3 months and 5 months.
  • U for unexpected: crying can come and go and you don’t know why.
  • R for resists soothing: your baby may not stop crying, no matter what you try.
  • P for pain-like face: a crying baby may look as if she is in pain, even when she is not.
  • L for long-lasting: crying can last for several hours a day.
  • E for evening: your baby may cry more in the late afternoon and evening.

I want to be held:

Babies need lots of physical contact, cuddling, and support for comfort. So, when your baby is crying, it can be the reason. Hold him or her in your arms, and talk to soothe. Generally, it is seen that parents get worried that holding baby too much, may spoil him or her. But during the first few months, it is not possible. Newborns need ample of physical comfort.

I am tired and want some rest:

Generally, babies find it difficult to fall asleep, when they are very tired. With passing time, you will definitely understand your baby’s various sleep cues in a better way. Crying and whining, going quiet and staring blankly into space are some of the signs that indicate that your baby is sleepy.

Take your baby in calm and dark room to help him or her calm down and assist to settle down.

I am Feeling too hot or too cold:

Some babies just hate to be bathed or get their nappy changed. Especially during first few weeks or months babies are generally all packed and warm, as a result they are not used to the cold air and so they cry, when their nappies are changed.

In addition, make sure you don’t overdress him or her, or your baby may feel too hot and uncomfortable. Generally, one more layer of clothing than you is enough. Use soft baby blankets and sheets as bedding. To find whether he or she is too hot or too cold, feel her tummy, if the tummy feels too cold, add one more layer and if it too hot, remove a sheet or blanket.

Don’t judge by baby’s feet or hands, as they are generally cold. Room temperature should be maintained about 18 degrees C.

I want my nappy to be changed:

Babies start crying when their nappy is soiled or wet or they find their clothes to be over tight or uncomfortable. They cry when their soft skin is being irritated. To soothe him or her change her nappy or the dress he or she is wearing.

I am not feeling well

Babies cry like crazy, when they are unwell, whether it is gastrointestinal problems or anything else and moreover, they cry in a different way as compared to usual cry. It may be high pitched or continuous or more urgent. In addition, if your baby cries a lot, but all of a sudden has become quiet then it can be a sign that he or she is unwell. Consulting doctor immediately is highly advised.

If despite trying all these things and checking for all the obvious reasons, if you still find it hard to soothe him or her, then consulting your doctor is advised.

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