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A dad changing his newborn baby

why your baby is crying, and how you can soothe their tears

3 mins


Babies spend a significant amount of time crying. When you’re a baby, you don’t have many ways of communicating with the humans who look after you – crying is an effective way to tell you what’s wrong.

Unfortunately, there are many potential reasons your baby could be crying, and it’s up to you to figure out which one it is. We’ve created this handy guide to help!

I’m hungry

If your baby has been fussing, smacking their lips, putting their hands in their mouth, and rooting before they started crying, then chances are they’re probably hungry. Over time you should start to recognise the signs and feed your baby before they start the waterworks. If you're having difficulties breastfeeding this could be a potential reason, but don't worry it's common.

I need to burp

If your baby starts crying after a feed, they’ve probably swallowed some air and need to burp. Only some babies are bothered by this, so you may find you need to burp one baby, but not another.

My nappy is yucky

Would you like sitting in a pile of your own poop? It’s a silly question. Your baby doesn’t want that, either, which is why they will often cry to let you know when things are messy down there. Luckily, this is an easy thing to check. You can use WaterWipes to clean it up.

I’m feeling sick

Some babies cry a lot after feeding when they have gas or are colicky. This is one of the hardest cries to manage because it’s often hard to figure out what’s wrong, or how to make it better. Try putting your baby on his/her back, grasping the feet, and circling them in a “riding the bicycle” motion. If this doesn’t work and your babies cries inconsolably for hours, you might want to see a doctor about potential colic treatments.

I’m sleepy

Sometimes, even a baby who’s desperately tired will struggle to go to sleep. And you know that not having enough sleep can make you really cranky. Well, that’s what happens to your baby, and the more they cry and get worked up, the harder it is for them to fall asleep. There are lots of techniques that may help – such as recorded sleep tracks, holding and bouncing or swaying, or talking in a soft voice to help establish sleep patterns for your newborn.

I want attention

Your baby adores you, and to them, you are the source of all the fun and joy in their life. It’s no surprise that if they want some attention from you, they’ll do anything they can to get it – including screaming or crying the house down. Try picking your baby up or wearing them out with activities, like outings to the playground or zoo.

I want less attention

The world gets a bit overwhelming for your baby – there’s always lights, smells, colours, and new sensations. Sometimes they’ve just had enough, and the only way to let you know is to start crying. You may find your baby responds well to swaddling, or if swaddling doesn’t work, move to your baby’s bedroom or another quiet area and let your baby cry it out.

If you’re tried all these things and your baby is still crying, please talk to a doctor or health professional.

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