Babies can be extremely communicative when they are unhappy. The difficulty in determining your infant’s reasons for upset and tears, however, can often result in frustration. Celebree Learning Centers guides new parents through the most likely reasons infants cry, and suggests ways to turn their frowns upside down.
Babies use crying as their way of communicating with the world around them. They are aware of their own needs, but are unable to explain them with words. As a result, calming a crying infant can often be a confusing, aggravating process for parents. Here are 9 normal reasons for your infant may be crying, and suggestions on how to decode his or her requests.
Diaper issues. It’s always possible that your infant is crying because they need a new diaper. Some babies prefer to be immediately changed, while others are more comfortable with waiting. However, cleanliness of such is not something your infant will be aware of. Your baby may also be reacting to a diaper that is too tight and constrictive.
Hunger pangs. When an infant smacks their lips, fusses or displays the rooting reflex, they are probably ready for their next meal. The rooting reflex contributes to the act of breastfeeding. A newborn infant will turn their head toward anything that strokes their cheek or mouth, searching for the object by moving their head in gradually decreasing sweeps until the object is found.
Over-stimulation. Just as infants often crave entertainment, at times the world can be overwhelming. It can be difficult for infants to internalize all the lights, sounds and people around them. Giving your infant a discreet place to cry it out may help them calm down.
Stomach troubles. There are several reasons for infant abdominal pain. The infant could be constipated, may have gas, or their pants may even be too tight. Burping your infant, or moving their legs in a bicycling motion by holding their feet while they lay on their back may help release excess gas. Many parents also turn to over the counter gripe water or gas drops, or infant suppositories for constipated babies. Check with your pediatrician before administering any of these medications.
Exhaustion. Fussiness can also be a sign that your infant is overtired. Try putting your baby down after they first display signs of sleepiness, like repeated yawning. Ambient noise, such as a soft fan, may also help them to wind down. If your baby doesn’t want to miss out on anything, reducing stimulation will help convince them that calming down and sleeping is easier than remaining cranky and awake.
Itchy irritants. If you feel like you have tried everything, but your infant continues to cry, the solution might be more obvious than you think. Check your baby’s clothing for scratchy tags, itchy fabric, or constrictive elastic that might be making them uncomfortable.
Teething discomfort. The discomfort of teething can often result in tears. Let your infant chew on your fingers and rub your fingers over his or her gums, or give them a cool washcloth or teether toy to help temporarily soothe the pain. You may also give your baby teething biscuits, avoiding any that may present choking hazards.
Cuddles. Your crying infant may simply be reminding you of a fundamental truth: babies need to be held. Especially during your baby’s first few months, there is no such thing as holding them too much. He or she can be comforted by your touch, your warmth, your smell and even the beat of your heart.
Something little. Your baby may not like the position they are in, or the bottle they have been given. Their pacifier may need cleaning, their arm or leg may be stuck in an uncomfortable position, or the sun may be shining in their eyes. Also, be sure to check your infants for hair tourniquets: strands of hair or fiber that wrap themselves tightly around fingers, toes or limbs, which can lead to partial loss of circulation.
If you have done a thorough investigation, and your infant is fed, well-rested and warm, but continues to cry, they may not be feeling well. You may want to schedule an appointment with your pediatrician to find out if the crying is health-related.
For more information on infant-related tears and what you can do to help your baby feel at ease, contact the child development professionals at Celebree Learning Centers today.