Why is my baby crying?
Meg Faure explains the common triggers for your little baby's crying.

When your baby is crying, a cold sweat accompanied by the question “WHY?” is the likely reaction.

While we would love a recipe to interpret each cry, it is important to realize that every baby’s cry is different and every cry can mean a different thing.

The best way for you to determine why your baby is crying is by process of elimination. Ask yourself these questions:

1. Is my baby hungry?

Newborns need feeds between 2 and 4 hourly. If your newborn is crying this could well be the reason. Even older babies on good routines will become teary and cry when they are hungry. Toddlers become difficult to manage when their blood sugar levels drop. If your baby is hungry, feed him.

2. Is my baby sick?

When your baby cries you may well wonder whether pain or sickness is the culprit. Usually this is not the case but if your baby has been a happy contented little one and suddenly become fractious and cries a lot, you should be concerned and if this is accompanied by a loss of appetite, take him to your doctor or speak to your clinic sister.

3. Is my baby tired or over-stimulated?

By far the most common cause of crying, especially colic in the first 3 months is overstimulation and overtiredness. So how do you calm your baby who is already crying and unplayable due to overstimulation?

a. Swaddle your baby

The deep pressure and containment provided by a swaddle is the best calming measure. Your overtired baby will then no longer be bothered by his flailing arms and will feel calmer when swaddled

b. Decrease stimulation

Do not over stimulate your baby or toddler when he is already fractious. Take him to a dim room with quiet lullabies instead of swinging him through the air to make him laugh.

c. Hold your baby and carry him

Do not worry about spoiling your newborn, as babies up to four months old do not form habits. However, they do have sensory needs and movement such as that provided in a sling is a great way to calm colicky newborn or fractious toddler alike.

d. Lie with your baby on your chest

When the wheels are falling off, and mum and baby are falling apart, Dad can be a great support. Take your little baby and lay quietly with him on your chest and sooth him with your calmness and gentle touch.

e. White noise

White noise provided by water, a radio tuned to static or a white noise CD are wonderful sounds for calming babies. If possible play white noise at the volume of your baby’s cry and he will calm down.

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