For the first few months, the only thing your baby does is eat, sleep and cry. Since they can’t talk, crying is their way of communicating with you, so if you understand what they want when they cry, you’ve essentially made life easier for yourself. Do remember though, that sometimes they just cry because they can. It doesn’t always have a meaning to it. So don’t stress yourself out if you feel like you’ve done everything right and your baby just won’t stop crying.
Here are some of the most common reasons babies cry and how you can identify what it means.
1. The hungry cry
If the crying just won’t stop, the unrelenting and high pitched cry mostly means they’re hungry. If this crying is accompanied by your baby reaching out for your breast, sucking their fingers or making a sucking sound with their mouth, and if they’ve been fed more than three or four hours ago, this is most definitely what it means. It’s best to respond to these cries as fast as possible, else your baby might get too worked up. If they’re too upset, they may end up swallowing air with their milk, which is going to lead to more crying.
2. The tired cry
This cry is a more helpless cry, and very breathy or whiny. If your baby’s eyes are closed, but they’re still restless, or if they’re continuously rubbing their eyes, which look red or glassy, they’re just tired. These are the easiest kind of tries to soothe. Put them to bed with their favourite toy, or if you’re outside, just cuddle them and let them fall asleep on your shoulder.
Sometimes, your baby just wants to tell you that they’ve had enough or there are too many sights and sounds around them, making them uncomfortable. This is a fussy, whiny cry that mostly comes with your baby turning their face away from the source of the commotion. What you can do in this case is to take them away from the noise for a while and into a calmer environment that can soothe them.
This cry starts off as a cool, then some whimpering and finally lots of crying. It could come with your baby playing with the side of his/her crib or banging their hands on what is closest to them. You can decide how to deal with this. If you don’t want to spoil your child and want them to learn how to soothe themselves, you’ll probably have to ignore this even if it kills you. If you find it extremely heartless to ignore a crying child, you could pick them up and play with them till they stop crying.