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As a new mom, there’s nothing worse than the helpless feeling that hits when you hear the incessant cries of your baby and struggle to find an instant solution. Babies, especially newborns, can cry for a variety of reasons. Sometimes there is a quick fix. Other times the answer may not be so clear with a colicky baby.
In hopes of sharing my learnings from experience, I’ve put together the top reasons your baby is probably crying…and the simple solutions to soothe them with.
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The most obvious and number one reason babies cry is due to hunger. But sometimes feeding doesn’t always seem like the obvious answer, especially if your baby is wailing shortly after a feeding. New moms should keep in mind that newborns can feed as much as every 1-2 hours those first few weeks, so expect to be feeding often.
Solution: Keep an eye out for hunger cues such as funny mouth movements or sucking fingers – this will help you better anticipate when baby needs to eat and prevent those heart-wrenching cries.
2. Dirty Diaper
Another popular reason your baby may cry is due to a wet or soiled diaper…and this will happen often if baby is feeding frequently.
Solution: Remember to change diapers after every feeding — even at night during the first few weeks.
Gas is something that many new moms can overlook, simply because most focus on #1 and #2. Bottle fed babies especially, can swallow air during feedings leading to gas pains. However, it can also greatly affect nursing mothers. Case in point: our second child who showed many signs of fussiness and would cry often after feedings, even after burping. This made it difficult to determine the cause. However, after many tears, we found that gas was often the culprit…it was just buried so deep we didn’t expect him to burp more than once!
Solution: Make sure to burp baby before, during and after feedings…and possibly multiple times. Also be sure to invest in some of my favorite burp cloths and a few bulb syringes to help clear mucus and other fluids that may buildup and contribute to gas issues.
Yes, it’s true! Babies can get bored too! Although they are simple creatures, they are learning so much and just as over-stimulation can cause them to fuss, too little stimulation or boredom is bound to happen if they are cooped up in the nursery all day.
Solution: Take your baby around the house or on a nice stroller walk for a change of scene. The fresh air, new smells and sights can do wonders! It’s also never to early for some playful learning toys — this mobile/projector and rocker are a few of my favorite boredom busters!
5. Too Hot/Too Cold
Another possible reason your baby is crying is due to the temperature. Is your baby overbundled? Is it a little chilly in the house? Most people assume babies are cold and overdress them, but pay attention to signs. If you see a lot of squirming it could mean your little one is working up a sweat.
Solution: A good rule of thumb, and what my pediatrician told me is to dress the baby according to the seasons. In warm weather, a onesie and socks are usually fine when indoors. If heading outdoors, dress baby in one more layer than you have on to keep them comfortable.
Occasionally you will find that baby is crying due to some sort of discomfort. But it may take some trial and error to determine. Look around baby’s body for any physical signs of pain. There may be a tag on the clothing causing irritation or it could be pain from teething which can start as early as 3 months!
Solution: Scan all baby clothes, sleep and play areas to ensure it is comfortable. If your little one is teething try a cold wash cloth or a soft rubber teether. TIP: One thing I noticed with my kids was sometimes the zipper at the very top of the pajama onesies caused a lot of discomfort un-beknowest to me!
As your maternal instincts will tell you, from time-to-time baby may indeed be inconsolable due to sickness. This is when you’ll really have to pay attention to those cry signals to see if it sounds a bit different than the normal cries. If you determine there is an issue, be sure to call your doctor first!
Solution: Although it is normal to stress, remain calm and try as much as you can to alleviate baby at home. A temperature over 101 is usually indicative of a fever and therefore a need to call your doctor, who will most likely recommend Tylenol or ask you to come in. You’ll also need a rectal thermometer to get the most accurate reading during the first few months.
This is the one that actually surprised me most as a new mother: Your baby can actually cry to indicate exhaustion!! It’s a concept that was hard for me to grasp because I just assumed if a baby was tired, they’d fall asleep! And while that is possible, more often than not, a baby will simply cry to tell mommy he or she needs a nap. So if you’ve run through all the other things that could be plaguing your baby and still can’t find the answer, this is probably the main reason baby is crying.
Solution: Check for signals — rubbing eyes is good indicator that your little one is tired. You can also keep track of babies sleep schedule to determine any patterns. As they grow, babies will tend to take a nap in the morning and afternoon before it’s bedtime.
So remember, even when it seems as though baby is colicky and just won’t stop crying…look closely and you may find there indeed is a reason and SOLUTION to put an end to those tears.
I hope these tips will help you learn to soothe your baby quickly and spend more time enjoying motherhood!
Thank you to Huggies for allowing me to share these tips and for providing reliable diapers and wipes to new moms everywhere.
Here are some of my favorite things about the new Huggies® Little Snugglers Diapers and Natural Care Wipes:
- The new GentleAbsorb liner helps to provide a cushiony layer of protection with hundreds of tiny absorbent pillows to draw mess away from the delicate skin of a newborn
- There is a cottony-soft inside and outside to help keep new baby comfy
- A wetness indicator lets you know when it’s time to change
- The umbilical cord cut-out helps protect sensitive belly buttons for newborns
- The flexible, pocketed waistband to help keep in mess
- The wipes are made from the simplest formula ever for a gentle clean and are hypoallergenic
BONUS: Is there something you wish you could add to your baby registry, but simply can’t? Register your wish at Huggies.com/RegisterWish for your chance to make it a reality. If you’re selected as a winner, Huggies will do everything they can to make your wish come true!
This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Huggies Little Snugglers and Latina Bloggers Connect.
I’m so happy to be sharing my next post in a series for new mothers sponsored by Huggies. If you missed my first post, on preparing for baby be sure to read it, print it and share with any expectant mommies in your life.
Ana, a mom to three rambunctious little boys, has supported thousands of women throughout their pregnancy and motherhood journey since 2012 as a prenatal and postpartum educator at MommysBundle.com.