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Having a newborn baby could be challenging as it requires lots of patience and energy. They cry for everything, whether they are hungry or tired. First-time parents get more frustrated than parents who have done this before and have some experience with this routine.
Babies cry a lot as it is the only way newborns communicate with their parents.
Before jumping to any conclusion, you need to understand why your baby won’t stop crying and fussy all the time. Why is it Important to Respond to a Crying Baby?
You should respond promptly to a screaming baby and try to understand that a baby cry is a type of newborn communication.
Your baby entirely depends on you for everything from food to diaper changes. It becomes exhausting because all they do is cry as they don’t know how to communicate, so that’s become very tough to understand what your baby wants.
You can go through this initial phase with little patience, help, and support from your family member, caregivers, and friends.
1. Why Is it Important to Respond to a Crying Baby
There is no straight answer to this question, why do babies cry? But it is always better to respond to your baby’s cries as soon as possible. All babies are different, few are fussy and cry a lot, and few could be easier to handle, but they all know one thing for sure: crying.
It could be hours in breaks or a single stretch. Infants cry in the initial days of their lives because all they know is crying. They cry as a way of communication.
We can pacify the baby by finding the issue with the baby, like what is troubling her.
But a few common reasons for a newborn baby’s cries are as follows,
In the first few months, babies cry for everything. They get hungry soon especially breastfed infants, as it digests faster than formula. They cannot hold the food, so they need regular feeding at regular intervals.
There is no need to be time specific for babies to feed. If you feel like your baby is hungry and see signs like a little cry, licking, and sucking thumbs. It is important to respond to their cry and feed them immediately.
There could be some feeding problems also, like not latching or sucking correctly; this could also be a reason for infant crying.
Colic is a condition when infants are sensitive to light and loud noise and unable to soothe themselves. They can be allergic to a few foods, especially breastfed babies. It makes the baby’s system extra sensitive and disturbs their sleep cycle.
Colic can cause a healthy baby to cry or fuss for long hours. Colic can be especially hard on parents because the baby cries and seems upset for no apparent reason, and no comfort appears to help to soothe the crying baby.
We don’t know the exact reason, but most of the time, these things happen in the evening, when parents and baby are tired, making it harder to make the baby sleep. A few medicines are available, especially for colic babies, which can be a big help, like Colicaid and tummy roll-ons.
1.3. Needs a Hug
For the overall mental and emotional development of a child, physical touch or skin-to-skin touch could be crucial. All humans crave intimacy.
Sometimes babies cry to get this reassurance from their parents that they are there for them. It is crucial for parent-baby bonding. The touch of parents makes them ascertain that they are not alone.
Crying babies seek attention from parents when they feel bored or alone. You should promptly respond to your baby’s cry by holding them immediately to calm them down and prevent them from getting distressed.
As babies grow, you can give them a soft blanket or soft toy as a self-comforter because it could help them soothe themselves.
1.4. Needs a Diaper Change
Few babies are more sensitive than others; a few babies might be okay with little wetness, but most babies can’t stand a little uncomfortable environment.
They want a diaper change immediately. The quality of diapers is also important because, at this tender age infant’s skin is more prone to skin infections, irritation, and skin rashes.
A wet or soiled diaper can damage the soft skin almost immediately. That’s why it is always better to keep checking and changing diapers regularly.
1.5. Needs Rest
Babies play a lot in the crib by moving their legs and hands. They learn new things by touching and feeling things around them. When babies get tired, they become restless and grumpy.
The sleeping pattern is also quite irregular in the initial days as they sleep the whole night sometimes, and someday they don’t rest for a single minute in an entire day. It happens because they don’t understand the difference between days and nights.
This irregular sleep pattern every day makes both the mother and the baby tired. That’s why setting a good sleeping pattern for babies is important.
Thus, setting a sleep schedule for infants could help with short naps and proper sleep training for longer sleeping hours. So babies could sleep longer during the night so that parents and babies could rest properly.
1.6. Stomach Ache
Gastric issues are very common in newborns. While feeding, newborns swallow air, and it can cause gas. That’s why whether it is breastfeeding or feeding by bottle, you need to learn how to help your baby to give a burp after every feeding session.
Let your infant sit on your lap by holding its neck softly because, at this stage, she can’t hold her neck; then slowly rub her back and wait for her to respond appropriately by taking a burp. Do it 3 to 4 times, which will help them release the gas. Because if they don’t pass out this gas, they will spit the milk.
Burp allows babies to give out excess air because it can cause stomach aches or discomfort in their tummy.
Putting asafoetida paste on the baby’s stomach and slowly massaging it in circles can help the baby to release some gas. Massaging regularly with baby oil like olive or coconut oil could help, along with stretching legs and arms.
1.7. In Pain or Distress
Most of the time, babies cry when uncomfortable or in physical distress. Mothers’ responses are very crucial at this stage because they are the ones who are pretty familiar with early infant crying patterns.
A few reasons for restlessness in babies could be
- She is not feeding or resisting feeding.
- Not pooping or constipation.
- If you can’t calm your crying baby, it’s time to take help from someone like your parent. Sometimes, tired mothers cannot calm their children because of a lack of rest.
- When the room temperature is too hot or too cold for the baby, we sometimes put many clothes on them in the winter. It might make the baby feel uncomfortable.
2. Does My Child Cry Too Much?
Every child has a pattern of behavior. Some babies are easy to handle, but some are hard to soothe. Usually, infants feel cranky and fussy during the evening.
For parents, especially those working, it could be a tough task to get settled with the routine of their newborn as it includes her feeding, playing, and sleeping timings which could be hard to settle and stick with.
But, when the situation becomes uncontrolled, you should never hesitate to ask your mother or friend for help and talk to your doctor if,
- Your baby has been crying and restless for a while.
- You think the cries are getting worse with time.
- Your baby is also less active, not eating well, has a temperature, or is in pain or stomach aches.
- There could be an infection or pain. You should take medical help; the earlier, the better.
3. How to Soothe a Crying Baby
All parents know their kids, and with time they find out what works best for their baby. If a lullaby or a toy could be a big help, but if it doesn’t, you can try so many things like
Newborns might calm down if they cry and you nurse them, but you shouldn’t overfeed them because they don’t always know when they’re full.
Sometimes, they just want to feed a little and sleep instantly while feeding. Infants have a connection with the mother’s touch. It can easily soothe them.
Babies can calm their nerves by sucking or nibbling a pacifier or a toy.
3.2. Put on Some Background Sound
Newborns are familiar with all the types of noises in a household since the days of pregnancy.
A white noise machine could be a good investment as it can cover all the other sounds of your house; for example, you could download an app on your smartphone.
But, you also need to consider that some researchers suggest that white-noise machines may cause hearing loss in infants if played at an unsafely high volume and kept too close to the infant for longer durations.
Generally, newborns are familiar with their mothers’ voices as they have heard them talking since pregnancy. A lullaby can help the baby to connect with her parents and allow her to respond and calm down.
Lullabies help kids relax. It is a soothing melody or a lullaby that can help the baby to sleep. Parents can use nursery songs or tunes to put their kids to bed. With good quality sleep, babies tend to get less fussy and sensitive.
3.4. Body Massage
A good massage is something that everyone would love to have. It helps almost everyone, from babies to adults, calm their bodies.
As babies grow quickly, they also feel stress in their bodies. You can rub their arms, legs, stomach, and back with body oil and lotions with soft hands in a circular motion. It also helps babies with stomach problems feel better.
Massaging your baby can help her relax and help you get closer. It’s also a great way to respond sensitively to a crying baby.
3.5. Using a Sling or Front Carrier May Help
A great way to calm your baby is to carry her in your arms or make them sit in your lap or walk around. Babies like being close to you and hearing your voice. They need assurance that you are around.
A backpack is also helpful because you can use both hands to do other chores at your house or work.
During the first few months, when your baby’s head needs more support, put her in a front-pack carrier or backpack and go for a walk, as the change in scenery can also help your baby to soothe as it can distract her.
4. Crying is a Way of Newborn Communication
There are reasons for babies to cry. Crying is a mode of communication for babies as it is the only way by which they can express their feelings.
It also lets her call for help when she’s hungry or feels uncomfortable because of a wet sheet, room temperature, or overfeeding.
As a parent, you might notice your baby getting cranky without any specific reason. It seems more like a mood swing. Thus, at times it becomes impossible to understand why are they crying.
But these episodes can also make your baby more active, alert, and tired.
Tiredness helps them to get good sleep, and a well-rested baby is generally playful and more energetic. These episodes are essential for overall child development.
As you get familiar with the baby crying patterns, you may feel like you can figure out what she needs based on how she cries, and accordingly, you can look out for the reasons, like, is she hungry? Tired and need a nap?
Children cry, which is normal, but; sometimes, you don’t know or understand why they are screaming, crying, and fussing. Why is it Important to Respond to a Crying Baby?
Being a parent can be demanding sometimes, but it is a good feeling, too, so you must be patient. Kids can be challenging sometimes, it might take some time, but you’ll soon figure out what your baby wants or needs. Have faith in yourself and try to bond well with your baby.
And most importantly, don’t hesitate to take help from your parents, family, and friends.
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