Infant crying can be frustrating and frighteningly for parents. When you are unable to calm your baby, you forget that all babies cries, crying is the way babies communicate. An average infant cries an average 2-3 hours per day. As we all (hopefully) know, there are no such things as an average infant and parents have enough to cope with to use a stopwatch on their baby and calculate crying averages.
Therefore, what are the reasons for infant crying? Let us first look at the “healthy” reasons:
1. Hunger. Hunger is the most common reason for crying. Is it more than one hour since your baby ate? Is it more than 2 hours since you breastfed your baby? Hunger might be the reason for crying. An infant eats quite frequently, especially the first weeks after birth.
2. Wet diaper. Wet diapers are uncomfortable. Change the diaper and see if it helps.
3. Need of body contact. Maybe your infant wants you to hold it. Especially the first weeks after birth body contact are very important for the child. Besides, by picking the baby up when it is crying, you give an important signal: “I care about you”.
4. Gas pain. Gas pain is common after eating. Try to get your baby to burp. A good advice is to let the baby burp several times during eating in addition to a final burp after eating.
5. Too hot or cold. Infants cry if they feel too hot or too cold. Check if your infant is too hot or too cold and remove or add more clothes.
6. Boredom. Your infant cries if it is bored. Try to play with it, change its toys, put on some music, start singing or whatever you think will stimulate your child.
7. Stress. Your infant is stressed if you are stressed. An easy solution would be: do not stress but since we live in the real world: Try to stimulate the child.
8. Fussy environment. The best example of fuzzy environment is family gatherings where everybody wants to talk to the infant and everybody is talking at the same time. Hey, I want to scream at most family gatherings. Big changes in daily routines might also give the same symptoms. Solution: carry your infant ion your arms. I know: theory, theory… It is easy to get frustrated when your arms gets tired and you are unable to perform any other tasks than carry the baby.
The eight reasons listed above will very often result in eight different sound of crying. You will make your life much easier if you take the time to learn the differences. Other ways to calm down your baby are: give your baby a massage, give your baby a bath, rock your baby, play some calming music, let your baby listen to white noise… You can read more about this on our website.
In my next article, I will discuss the “unhealthy reason” for infant crying, until then: hang on out there...