If you’ve got four children, a newborn is no sweat. But when you’re a first-time parent, there’s a serious learning curve when you take that baby home from the hospital. Learning to care for an infant is a magical – albeit frustrating and sometimes completely bewildering – experience. One frustration every new parent experiences is a crying newborn who will not be soothed. Your new baby is adjusting to the world outside the womb, and the process isn’t easy for him or her either. If you’ve ever wondered why your baby is crying – and what you can do about it – we’re here to help.
Hands down, this is the number-one reason newborn babies cry. Unfortunately, by the time an infant makes it to the crying stage, she’s really hungry – possibly making it even harder to get her to eat. As you practice this parenting thing, you’ll start to see the warning signs of hunger before your child has become hysterical. A newborn usually starts to fuss, root (a reflex in which the infant searches for a nipple), smacks his lips and puts his hands in his mouth.
A gassy newborn can be a truly miserable thing. If your baby is experiencing an upset tummy, chances are, he’s just as uncomfortable as he sounds. If your baby cries for three or more hours a day at least three days a week, colic is likely to blame. Soothing a colicky baby can be frustrating, but it’s not impossible. Over-the-counter gripe water or gas drops can help. If your baby is formula fed, there might be an allergy issue, so talk to your pediatrician if you’re concerned.
An exhausted baby will fall asleep easily, right? Well, not really. Actually, the more tired your baby is, the harder it can be to get her to fall asleep. Baby’s lack the ability to soothe themselves to sleep, so often, crying and fussing is their natural reaction to exhaustion, which – you guessed it – makes sleep even more difficult. A newborn should be rocked or swaddled to sleep about every 45 minutes. A sound machine with white noise often helps soothe a newborn, as the sound will remind him of the womb.
She wants to be held
Babies are beautiful, sweet and magical. They are not, however, independent. Your baby wants – and even needs – a lot of human-to-human contact. The good news is, that means lots of cuddles for you. If your baby cries after being left on the floor or in a swing, it may just be because he wants to be picked up and cuddled. There’s no harm in accommodating your newborn – she’s only this little once.
When your child starts to teeth, you’ll probably know it. Along with increased crying and waking up in the middle of the night to cry, you’ll also probably notice drool – a lot of drool. If you’ve got an inexplicably cranky baby, use a clean finger to feel her gums for signs of swelling or even emerging teeth. Teething toys and over-the-counter teething gels can help the pain, as can small doses of Tylenol.
It’s a hard reality – your tiny baby is going to get sick. And when she doesn’t feel well, you’re going to know it. Sick babies are often fussy and very clingy. You might also notice flushed cheeks, runny nose, and a fever when your child is ill. Chances are, you already know your child’s “hungry” or “tired” cry. If your baby’s cry seems alarming or she seems in pain, give us a call for an appointment.
Got a baby question? We’re here to help. Call us today!