14 Reasons Why Babies Cry [How to Soothe Tips]

A baby’s cry can draw your attention if you are a parent and even if you aren’t.

A study revealed that our brain processes a baby’s cry much faster and in a more intense fashion when compared to other sounds which confirmed it. It is as if the sound is labeled important even before it’s processed.

Why babies cry

If you think about it, that is one of the reasons why most of us immediately notice when a baby is crying. As a parent you want to have as little cry as possible and that is why I have prepared this detailed list of things that may cause your baby’s crying. I have also included instructions on how to behave in such situations. Here are the most common reasons why babies cry:

1. Hunger

Hunger is one of the most frequent causes of crying, especially in case of newborns. The baby can’t talk and communicates her/his needs by crying because that is the only thing s/he knows so shortly after birth.

Solution: Nurse your baby or prepare milk into a bottle. If the baby doesn’t stop crying even after being fed, it’s clear that the cause is somewhere else, and you have to look again.

2. Full Diaper

Another reason why your baby expresses discontent by crying can be a full diaper. To be honest, who would enjoy it?

Solution: So, what are you waiting for? Let’s go change that diaper.

3. Wet Diaper

Not every baby cries because s/he has wet her/himself. But if you let this go too far, it’s possible that the unpleasant feeling of cold and wetness cannot be even absorbed by the best diapers and your baby will tell you appropriately.

4. Accumulated Gas

The creation of gases in your baby’s stomach during food digestion is completely natural. This process takes places in every human body. Given the fact that the baby constantly encounters new food, gassiness can be higher. If this gas leaves on natural terms, it’s completely normal.

Mother feeding baby

However, if it stays longer in your baby’s body, it can cause stomach pain accompanied by crying.

Solution: You can help your baby with a short leg exercise which will release the accumulated gas. Another way to get rid of it is by means of a tube. Nonetheless, if the pain persists more than a few days, it can be a gastrointestinal issue, in which case a doctor visit is the best option.

5. They Need to Burp

If an accumulated portion of air doesn’t exit from the bottom it has to go up. The topic of letting the baby have a burp just after eating has been discussed frequently. Probably the best answer was provided by Dr.Gellner who claims that a study on this topic was conducted in the past.

Parents in this study were divided into two groups. One let the baby have a burp after eating while the other one didn’t. The study revealed that there was no difference between babies who have been burping regularly and those who haven’t. In addition, there was no significant effect on health.

Solution: However, if you see your baby crying after eating, s/he has probably swallowed big portions of food and can’t burp. Try carrying her/him on your shoulder and gently tap on the back.

6. Colic

This term is used to describe a wide range of negative child emotions which are accompanied by crying. If your baby cries more than 3 hours every day and all tests at the doctor’s showed that it’s healthy, it’s probably one of the unlucky ones who has colic.

Solution: In the case of colic you can’t do much more than calming the baby down. Remember that these cries will not last forever. According to the ForeverFamilies website, these issues are present only by 5% of children after the 5th month. A variety of calming techniques are also described at Parents.com.

7. Sleep

Another reason for your baby’s crying could be the lack of sleep. It may sound unbelievable, but babies that didn’t get enough sleep tend to be upset and that’s why they cry.

Newborn baby sleeping

Managing this situation isn’t as easy as it may seem. Your baby is crying because of lack of sleep, but paradoxically, cannot fall asleep for the same reason.

Solution: If you experience something similar, it’s important to learn the lesson and think ahead. This means that the following day you will try to schedule regular sleep for your baby and thus avoid this situation.

8. Cold

Cold can cause your baby’s grumpiness, especially during colder months. If you haven’t dressed her/him appropriately into the cold weather, or you aren’t heating up you apartment enough, it isn’t unusual that your baby complains about it via crying.

Solution: If you feel that your baby is cold, add another layer of clothes.

9. Warmth

On the other hand, it’s also not appropriate if your baby is too hot. Mothers are worried that their offspring will be cold, especially during the first months, so they add a couple of extra additional layers. Less is sometimes more.

If your baby is dressed appropriately and you add another layer, you risk overheating, which is even more dangerous than cold. Scientists from the Darmouth Medical School found out that, if a baby’s organism is overheated to more than 3 additional degrees, it can worsen breathing which can cause sudden infant death, also known as SIDS.

Solution: It can be hard to dress your baby correctly, at first. However, gradually you will know exactly how many layers are needed. You can check the baby’s temperature by her/his hands or nose, but the best sensor you should always check is the nape.

10. Tooth Pain

Every baby handles this situation differently. Some are only grumpy and from time to time cry, others don’t cry at all. It’s generally around the 7th month that babies start to feel the first teeth coming through their gums and thus cry mainly during the night.

Solution: Gum massage or a higher dose of tenderness is very helpful. There are various calming lotions, but be sure to check out the Parenting.com website, for 20 interesting home recipes for gum pain reduction.

11. Disease Onset

If you have noticed that your baby has a snot running down her/his nose or coughs more than s/he used to, it’s highly probable that this can be the cause of the never-ending crying. You know as well that a stuffy nose can ruin a day even for us adults. A baby that is only a couple of months old can complain only through crying.

Solution: However, in this case I don’t recommend acting as a doctor and trying to give the baby different medicines. If you have a feeling that your baby is starting to get sick, contact the doctor as fast as possible.

12. Fear

Every impulse is new for your newborn baby. Some can draw her/his attention and others make her/him cry. They can often get scared by ordinary noises such as bag rustle or a towel on mom’s head.

Solution: The best thing to do here is to avoid these impulses. Don’t worry, they will get used to them eventually.

13. Too Many Impulses

This reason is a little bit connected to the previous one. You all know it well.

A new baby has been born into the family and everybody wants to meet her/him. Everyone wants to hold and talk to the baby and it has to process all of these impulses somehow. If there are too many of them, the baby can be afraid and cry.

Newborn baby with grandparents

Some babies can handle visits calmly, but the experiences will come back to them in their dreams and therefore it’s not uncommon to get woken up by crying. Your baby is probably only processing all the experiences s/he has soaked up during the day.

Solution: The only reliable medicine is a tender voice and the warm embrace of the mother.

14. They Want to Be Held

Some babies can also cry because they want to be carried. This situation occurs mainly when they are worried or overly sensitive; however, the pain isn’t that strong, so they don’t cry after being held in arms.

Although, it often happens that babies get used to being carried and then cry only out of spite, so you lift them up and pay attention to them. You can distinguish this cry easily.

Solution: If the baby stops crying after being lifted, it’s crystal clear. If the baby wants to be lifted only because s/he got used to it, the solution is up to you. You can give up and lift the baby after each cry, but keep in mind that it’s very difficult to get rid of such a habit.

Sometimes It’s Good to Let the Baby Cry

After a while as a parent you will learn how to distinguish the crying of your baby. You will know when the baby is crying out of suffering and when s/he only seeks attention.

There are many situations when the baby will communicate her/his dissatisfaction with crying, and it’s natural that you will want to stop this crying. You will for example want to teach your baby to fall asleep again on her/his when s/he has been woken up during the night.

S/he can only learn by crying. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you will let you baby cry the whole night. It’s a gradual process called “graduated extinction”. For those of you who are avoiding this method, because you need to have your baby at your sight at all times, I recommend using a baby monitor.

I wish you all as few crying moments as possible and in case I have forgotten something, feel free to add it in the comments below.

Emma Martens

Full-time housewife. I have graduated from the University of Management in Brussel. I raise with my husband two beautiful kids. In my spare time, I like to read books and write reviews on 9best. Read more...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *