Why babies cry, and when to be concerned
The two most common causes of your baby’s tears are hunger and discomfort. As a newborn, your baby has a tiny tummy, and so they eat small portions more frequently, and cry to let you know when they are hungry again (as if you didn’t already know!) As a first-time parent, you rapidly realise that your baby eats and parts with their food very quickly. So, when you understand how often they cry over hunger, it’s not surprising and not concerning to hear.
Discomfort is another significant cause of crying in young babies, as they are permanently settling into alien surroundings. The outside world for a baby involves a lot of new sensations, and physically and mentally a lot has changed. Post-womb, newborns suddenly find themselves spending nearly all of their time on their backs, their rest pattern shifts too, and the acoustics of their space is brand new. All these things take some getting used to, which can result in some disgruntled crying until they adjust.
What to do when your baby cries?
When your baby needs food, the response is a straightforward one, but not so much for discomfort. Sometimes lifting your child from their cot is enough, but very often when they return the crying continues. In other cases, no amount of lifting and attention seems to appease your baby and this is a significant symptom of colic. A colicky newborn will also show other signs as well as tears - expect to see clenched fists, rigid leg movements and even pained facial expressions.
Try giving your baby a new rest position, check your angles when feeding and make sure they aren’t sucking in air from bottles. Tummy time on the innovative Babocush comfort cushion is a great way to open your baby’s airways, giving them the freedom to breathe easy and reduce the pain that comes with trapped wind and gas. The reduced pressure will often soothe your baby. Colicky babies in particular find relief in lying on their tummy and respiratory experts agree the cushion helps babies. Many parents have posted videos of the Babocush assisting colicky crying babies to relax almost instantly - if you’re also struggling with a colicky baby at home, why not give it a go?
Do some babies cry for no reason?
Fact: Sometimes your baby will cry, and there is very little you can or even should do.
Sometimes your baby is crying almost for the sake of crying, and while this can be hard to accept as a parent, it’s a common event and there’s really very little you can do to prevent it. For some babies it is also just a precursor to sleep, as newborns, some babies fight sleep through crying before dozing off. In these instances, you should make sure that your baby has a relaxing environment.
We understand uncles, aunts, grandmothers and doting friends all want to see and hold your newborn; however, it’s important to establish quiet times too. Overstimulation and short-term periods of excitement can go on to trigger tears. Don’t be afraid to limit visiting time for the first few weeks after your child is born.
Warnings for parents, from parents
Lastly, elongated bouts of crying can be frustrating, primarily as a first-time parent. If you are sure nothing is wrong with your child, but the crying persists, try these steps. Initially, try to take your yourself away from the noise of the crying for a breather. A cup of tea or a few minutes downstairs is good for you. If the crying drastically affects you or your partner’s wellbeing, accept support. And if you need somewhere to find friendly parental advice or to share your knowledge to help others, check out the Babocush Babes Facebook group.