Why is my baby crying and not feeding

Crying Baby - Before 3 Months Old

Is this your child's symptom?

  • A baby less than 3 months old is crying and you don't know why
  • Crying is the only symptom
  • The type of frequent crying called colic is included
  • For crying with an illness or other symptom, go to that care guide

Causes of Unexplained Crying

  • Hungry Baby. The most common reason babies cry is because they are hungry. They stop crying at the onset of feeding. By the end of the feeding, they are happy.
  • Sleepy Baby. The second reason babies cry is they need sleep. They need their parent to put them in a comfortable position. It may be swaddled and on their back. Then they fuss a little and fall asleep.
  • Fed Too Much. Some babies cry because of a bloated stomach from overfeeding. Unlike gas, too much milk can cause discomfort that lasts a short time.
  • Caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that can cause increased crying and trouble falling asleep. Breastfeeding mothers need to limit their caffeine intake.
  • Clothing. Being too hot or too cold can make a baby cry. So can clothing that is too tight.
  • Dirty Diaper. Stool is very irritating to the skin. If not cleaned off, it can cause pain and burning.
  • Colic. Colic is the main cause of recurrent crying during the early months. All babies have some normal fussy crying every day. When this occurs over 3 hours per day, it's called colic. When they are not crying, they are happy.
  • Pain (Serious). Painful causes include an earache, mouth ulcers, or a raw diaper rash. An ulcer on tip of penis may also cause pain and crying. These babies cry a lot and are not happy when they are not crying. They need to see a doctor to make a diagnosis. Fever in this age group is serious until proven otherwise. Shaken baby syndrome is a concern.

Myths About Causes of Crying

  • Not Due to Gas. Gas passing through normal intestines does not cause pain or crying. All crying babies pass lots of gas. Their stomachs also make lots of gassy noises. The gas comes from swallowed air. The gas is normal. It does not become trapped nor cause any pains. That's why burping a baby doesn't help the crying. Blaming gas is a myth.
  • Not Due to Spitting Up. Spitting up occurs in half of babies and is normal. It does not cause crying or colic. Heartburn meds do not help crying babies. They also have side effects.

Definition of Colic

  • A lot of crying once or twice per day
  • Usually consolable when held and comforted
  • Acts normal (happy, contented) between bouts of crying
  • The baby is getting enough to eat and is not hungry
  • The baby is not sick
  • Onset most often before 2 weeks of age
  • Usually goes away by 3 months of age (sometimes up to 4 months)

When to Call for Crying Baby - Before 3 Months Old

Call 911 Now

  • Not moving or very weak
  • You think your child has a life-threatening emergency

Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

  • Age less than 1 month old and looks or acts abnormal in any way
  • Fever in baby less than 12 weeks old. Caution: do NOT give your baby any fever medicine before being seen.
  • Bulging or swollen soft spot
  • Swollen scrotum or groin
  • Vomiting
  • Cries when you touch, move or hold your baby
  • Could be an injury
  • Nonstop crying lasts more than 2 hours. Your baby can't be consoled using this Care Advice.
  • Will not drink or drinks very little for more than 8 hours
  • You are afraid someone might hurt or shake your baby
  • High-risk child (such as with heart or brain disease)
  • Your child looks or acts very sick
  • You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Contact Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • Not gaining weight or seems hungry
  • New crying, but your baby can be consoled. Your baby will stop crying, but cause of crying not clear.
  • You are worn out from all the crying
  • You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Contact Doctor During Office Hours

  • Your baby has never been checked for excessive crying
  • Crying started after 1 month of age
  • Crying occurs 3 or more times per day
  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Normal crying in all babies
  • Colic (Excessive crying in a well baby who can be consoled)

Seattle Children's Urgent Care Locations

If your child’s illness or injury is life-threatening, call 911.

  • Bellevue
  • Everett
  • Federal Way
  • Seattle

Care Advice for Normal Crying or Colic

  1. What You Should Know About Crying:
    • Normal Crying: all babies cry when they are hungry. Also, the normal baby has 1 to 2 hours of unexplained crying each day. It is scattered throughout the day. As long as they are happy and content when they are not crying, this is normal.
    • Colic: some babies are very hard to comfort. Some babies also cry a lot (over 3 hours per day). If growing normally and have a normal medical exam, the crying is called colic. Remind yourself that colic is due to your baby's temperament. It has nothing to do with your parenting or any medical disease.
    • Here is some care advice that should help both types of crying.
  2. Feedings:
    • For formula-fed babies, feed if more than 2 hours since the last feeding. For breast-fed babies, feed if more than 1½ hours since the last feeding.
    • Be careful not to feed your baby every time she cries. Some babies cry because of a bloated stomach from overfeeding. Let your baby decide when she's had enough milk. (For example, she turns her head away.) Don't encourage your baby to finish what's in the bottle.
    • Caffeine. If breastfeeding, decrease your caffeine intake. Limit your coffee, tea and energy drinks to 2 servings per day. That's 2 cups or 16 ounces (480 mL).
  3. Hold and Comfort for Crying:
    • Hold and try to calm your baby whenever he cries without a reason. Hold your baby flat to help them relax and go to sleep.
    • Rock your child in a rocking chair, in a cradle or while standing. Many babies calm best with rapid tiny movements like vibrations.
    • Place in a swing or vibrating chair.
    • Take for a stroller ride, outdoors or indoors.
    • Do anything else you think may be comforting. Examples are using a pacifier, massage, or warm bath.
  4. Swaddle your Baby in a Blanket for Crying:
    • Swaddling is the most helpful technique for calming crying babies. It also keeps your baby from waking up with a startle reflex.
    • Use a big square blanket and the "burrito-wrap" technique:
    • Step 1: have the arms inside and straight at the sides.
    • Step 2: pull the left side of the blanket over the upper body and tuck.
    • Step 3: fold the bottom up with the knees a little flexed. Safe swaddling keeps the legs in a straddle position.
    • Step 4: pull the right side over the upper body and tuck.
    • Caution: don't cover your baby's head or overheat your baby.
    • Caution: stop swaddling when your baby shows signs of rolling over. Age limit: 2 months. The startle reflex will most often be gone by this age. At 2 months, transfer to a sleep sack with the arms out.
    • Read the book (or view the DVD),"The Happiest Baby on the Block". Both products are authored by Dr. Harvey Karp. It is a good resource on how to calm fussy babies.
  5. White Noise for Crying:
    • Swaddling works even better when paired with a low-pitched white noise. Examples are a CD, vacuum cleaner, fan or other constant sound.
    • Caution: avoid making white noise too loud. Reason: risk of hearing damage.
    • Keep the white noise on any time your baby is crying.
    • When your baby is awake and not crying, keep your baby unwrapped. Turn off the white noise. Reason: so she can get used to the normal sounds of your home. For details, view Dr. Karp's DVD.
  6. Falling Asleep on their Own:
    • Often babies cry because they need to sleep. If over 2 hours have passed since the last nap, this probably is the reason.
    • You have tried different ways to comfort your baby. You fed him recently. Nothing you do seems to help your baby relax. So, now, it's time to get out of the way.
    • Swaddle your baby. Place him on his back in his crib. Turn on some white noise or soothing music. Then, leave the room.
    • Let your baby fuss until he falls asleep.
    • For some overtired babies, this is the only answer.
    • Try to prevent an overtired baby. If your baby has been awake for 2 hours they often need sleep. Help them fall asleep before they become fussy.
  7. Encourage Nighttime Sleep (Rather Than Daytime Sleep):
    • Try to keep your child from sleeping too much during the daytime.
    • If your baby has napped 2 hours or longer, gently wake him up. Play with or feed your baby, depending on his needs. This will lessen the amount of time your baby is awake at night.
  8. Warning: Never Shake a Baby
    • It can cause bleeding on the brain. Severe brain damage can happen in a few seconds.
    • Never leave your baby with someone who is immature or has a bad temper.
    • If you are frustrated, put your baby down in a safe place.
    • Call or ask a friend or relative for help.
    • Take a break until you calm down.
  9. What to Expect:
    • The right technique should start to reduce the crying. You may have to try several things before finding the best method.
    • The crying should start to decrease to about 1 hour per day.
    • Colic peaks at 4 to 6 weeks. Colic gets better after 2 months of age. Most often, it is gone by 3 months.
  10. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Your baby starts to look or act abnormal
    • Cries nonstop for more than 2 hours
    • Your child can't be consoled using this advice
    • You think your child needs to be seen
    • Your child becomes worse

And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.

Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.

Last Reviewed: 12/04/2022

Last Revised: 01/13/2022

Copyright 2000-2022. Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC.

Seven reasons babies cry and how to soothe them

In this article

  • I'm crying because I'm hungry
  • I'm crying because I have colic
  • I'm crying because I need to be held
  • I'm crying because I'm tired and I need a rest
  • I'm crying because I'm too cold or too hot
  • I'm crying because I need my nappy changing
  • I'm crying because I don't feel well
  • My baby's still crying. How can I soothe her?
  • What should I do if nothing seems to help?
  • Visit our community

Your baby is fully dependent on you. You provide her with the food, warmth and comfort that she needs. When she cries, it's her way of communicating those needs and asking you for attention and care (NHS 2016).

It's sometimes hard to work out which need your baby wants you to take care of. But as your baby grows, she'll learn other ways of communicating with you. For example, she'll get better at eye contact, making noises and smiling.

In the meantime, here are some reasons why your baby may cry, and what you can try to soothe her.

I'm crying because I'm hungry

Hunger is one of the most common reasons why your baby will cry (NHS 2016), especially if she's a newborn. The younger your baby is, the more likely it is that she's hungry.

Your baby's stomach is small and can't hold very much. So it won't take long before she needs another feed. If you're breastfeeding, offer her your breast, even if her last feed doesn't seem that long ago. This is called responsive feeding. Your baby will let you know when she’s had enough, by coming off your breast in her own time, and seeming content and settled.

If you're formula-feeding, your baby may not need more milk for at least two hours after her last feed. Every baby is different, though. If your baby is consistently not finishing her feeds, she may prefer to drink formula little and often. In this case, you could try offering her another feed earlier.

Your baby may not stop crying immediately, but let her keep feeding if she wants to.

I'm crying because I have colic

If your baby cries a lot, but is otherwise healthy, she may have colic (NICE 2017). Your baby may become flushed and frustrated, and refuse your efforts to soothe her. She may clench her fists, draw up her knees, or arch her back (NICE 2017, NHS 2015).

The exact cause of persistent crying isn’t clear. It’s so common in babies, that many experts think it may simply be a normal developmental stage.

Other experts think that it may be associated with tummy problems. For example, an allergy or intolerance to something in your breastmilk, or a type of formula milk. Or it may be linked to wind, constipation or reflux, when your baby brings up feeds (NHS 2015, NICE 2017b).

If you think your baby is crying excessively, take her to your GP to rule out any other causes. Your doctor will check that nothing more serious is causing your baby’s distress.

Whatever the cause, living with a baby who regularly cries inconsolably can be very stressful. It’s important to look after yourself too, so that you have the patience and energy to soothe your little one. These tactics may help you cope with colic.

Remember that this phase will pass: colic tends to peak at two months, and is usually gone by around three to four months.

I'm crying because I need to be held

Your baby needs lots of cuddling, physical contact and reassurance to comfort her (NCT 2018). So her crying may mean that she just wants to be held (HSE 2015).

Swaying and singing to her while you hold her close, will help to distract and comfort her (NICE 2017c).

You could try babywearing with a sling or carrier to keep your baby close to you for longer periods (NCT 2018). She loves the sound of your heartbeat, the warmth of your body and your smell.

How to hold a crying baby

Check out our video for five ways to hold and soothe a crying baby.More baby videos

I'm crying because I'm tired and I need a rest

Your baby may find it hard to get to sleep, particularly if she’s over-tired. The younger your baby is, the more subtle her sleep cues are, so it may take a few weeks for you to recognise the signs. Fussing and crying at the slightest thing, staring blankly into space, and being quiet and still are just some of the ways in which your baby tells you she needs some shut eye (HSE 2015).

Lots of attention from doting visitors may over-stimulate your baby and make it hard for her to sleep, as can too much rocking and singing. Try taking her to a quiet room after a feed and before bed to help her calm down and switch off (NHS 2016).

I'm crying because I'm too cold or too hot

You can check whether your baby is too hot or too cold by feeling her tummy or the back of her neck. Don't be guided by the temperature of your baby's hands or feet. It's normal for them to feel colder than the rest of her body (HSE 2017).

Keep the temperature of your baby's room between 16 degrees C and 20 degrees C. Use a room thermometer to keep track of the temperature. Place her down to sleep on her back with her feet at the foot of her cot. That way she can't wriggle down under the blankets and become too hot (HSE 2017).

Take care not to overdress your baby, or she may become overheated. As a general rule, she needs to wear one more layer of clothing than you to be comfortable (HSE 2017, NCT 2018).

Use cotton sheets and cellular blankets as bedding in your baby's cot or Moses basket. If her tummy feels too hot, remove a blanket or layer, and if it feels cold, simply add one (HSE 2017). If you’re using a sleeping bag, make sure it’s the right tog for the season and the right size for your baby.

I'm crying because I need my nappy changing

Your baby may protest if she has a wet or soiled nappy (HSE 2015). Some babies don't seem to mind unless their skin feels irritated.

If your baby doesn't like having her nappy changed, it may be because of the strange feeling of cold air on her skin. After a week or so, you'll probably be a pro at quick nappy changes. Otherwise, distracting your baby with a song or a toy she can look at during changes may work well.

I'm crying because I don't feel well

If your baby's unwell, she'll probably cry in a different tone from the one you're used to. It may be weaker, more urgent, continuous, or high-pitched (HSE 2015, NHS 2015). If she usually cries a lot but has become unusually quiet, this may also be a sign that she's not well. Here’s how to spot the signs that your baby may be poorly.

Teething may also cause your baby to be more upset than usual. Babies are often irritable and restless in the week before a new tooth comes through. Learn the other signs of teething to look out for.

Nobody knows your baby as well as you do. If you feel that something's not right, trust your instincts and call your GP, midwife or health visitor. Health professionals will always take your concerns seriously.

Call your doctor straight away if your baby is persistently crying and has a fever of 38C or above (if she’s less than three months old) or 39C or above (if she’s three months to six months), is vomiting, or has diarrhoea or constipation (NHS 2015).

If your baby has difficulty breathing through her crying, call 111 for advice immediately or take her to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) (NHS 2015).

My baby's still crying. How can I soothe her?

As you gradually get to know your baby's personality, you'll learn which techniques work best for her. If a cuddle or a feed doesn't do the trick, these suggestions may help:

Play a constant sound

In your womb, your baby could hear the beat of your heart. She probably enjoys being held close to you now because your heartbeat is so familiar.

Other noises mimic the sounds she'll have heard in your womb. The repetitive noise of a vacuum cleaner, washing machine or hairdryer may help to lull your baby to sleep (NICE 2017c).

White noise can also help to soothe your baby. Download an app to your phone or buy a toy that plays a range of sounds, from ocean waves to raindrops.

Rock and sway your baby

Most babies love to be gently rocked. You could rock her:

  • in your arms while you walk around
  • in a rocking chair
  • in a baby swing

You could also try taking her for a ride in your car or for a walk in her pushchair (NICE 2017c).

Try a massage or a tummy rub

Using unscented massage oils or cream specially formulated for babies, gently rub your baby’s back or tummy in a clockwise direction (HSE 2015).

Massaging your baby’s tummy can help with her digestion, and your touch will help to soothe and comfort her. Regular massage may help your baby to cry and fuss less (Underdown et al 2010, Bennett et al 2013). The best time for massage is when your baby is settled and alert. If she cries during the massage, she's telling you she's had enough, so stop and give her a cuddle.

Watch our calming massage video for babies.

Try a different feeding position

Some babies cry during or after feeds (NHS 2016). If you're breastfeeding, you may find that changing the way your baby latches on helps her to feed calmly, without crying or fussing. Ask your health visitor or breastfeeding counsellor to check your positioning.

If your breastfed or bottle-fed baby seems to have painful wind during feeds, she may prefer to feed in a more upright position (NICE 2017c).

Burp your baby after a feed by holding her against your shoulder and gently patting or rubbing her back. If your baby cries straight after a feed though, she may still be hungry, so offer her your other breast or more formula milk.

Let her suck on something

For some babies, the need to suck is very strong. If you're breastfeeding, you could let your baby suckle your breast for comfort. Alternatively, let her suck on your clean finger or knuckle. Or you could offer her a dummy, if you think it may help her (NHS 2016).

Give her a warm bath

A soothing bath may help your baby to calm down (NHS 2016, NICE 2017c). Check the water temperature before placing her in the bath. It should be about 37 degrees C to 38 degrees C. If you don't have a thermometer, dip your elbow into the water. It should feel neither hot nor cold.

Bear in mind that a bath may also make some babies cry more, if they don’t enjoy the sensation of being in water. In time, you'll get to know your baby's likes and dislikes.

What should I do if nothing seems to help?

It’s normal for babies to cry, so try not to blame yourself if your baby simply won't be soothed.

Your baby may just naturally cry a lot in the early weeks. Crying tends to peak at around two months, and usually starts to ease off after that (Wolke 2017). But in the meantime, it's likely to make you and your partner feel stressed and unhappy at times. If she's resisting every effort to calm her down, you may feel rejected and frustrated (St James-Roberts 2012).

Try to remember that you are not the cause of her crying. Sometimes, simply accepting that you have a baby who cries a lot can help (St James-Roberts 2012). If you've met your baby's immediate needs and tried everything you can to calm her, it's time to take care of yourself:

  • Put your baby in her cot and let her cry for a few minutes out of your range of hearing. Take deep breaths and let yourself relax for a moment or two.
  • If you and your baby are both upset and you've tried everything, call a friend or relative for support. Give yourself a break and let someone else take over for a while.
  • Find a local support group or parent-and-baby group. That way you can meet other new parents in the same situation and offer each other moral support.
  • Talk to your health visitor or GP about coping strategies before everything gets too much. Don't let things build up, as it could make things harder for you and your baby.
  • Call a helpline. Cry-sis offers support seven days a week for parents of babies who have sleep problems or who cry excessively. Contact Cry-sis on 08451 228 669. (NICE 2017c)

This crying is probably just a phase. It is very common and it will pass (St James-Roberts 2012). As your baby grows, she'll learn new ways of communicating her needs to you. And when this happens, the excessive crying will soon stop.

Visit our community

If you're struggling with the new challenge of parenthood, meet and chat to others like you in .

You may also like:

  • The truth about colic
  • Coping with clinginess
  • How parents stay sane
  • 10 ways to get more sleep


Bennett C, Underdown A, Barlow J. 2013. Massage for promoting mental and physical health in typically developing infants under the age of six months. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (4):CD005038. mrw.interscience.wiley.com [Accessed May 2018]

HSE. 2015. Caring for your baby: birth to six months. Health Service Executive. www.hse.ie [Accessed May 2018]

HSE. 2017. Don't let your baby get too hot. Health Service Executive. Baby and Child Health. www.hse.ie [Accessed May 2018]

NCT. 2018. Babycare tips: how to look after a newborn. NCT. Parenting. www.nct.org.uk [Accessed May 2018]

NHS. 2016. Soothing a crying baby. NHS Choices, Health A-Z, Your pregnancy and baby guide. www.nhs.uk [Accessed May 2018]

NHS. 2015. Colic. NHS Choices. Health A-Z. www.nhs.uk [Accessed May 2018]

NICE. 2017. Colic - infantile: summary. Clinical Knowledge Summaries. cks.nice.org.uk [Accessed May 2018]

NICE. 2017b. Colic - infantile: diagnosis. Clinical Knowledge Summaries. cks.nice.org.uk [Accessed May 2018]

NICE. 2017c. Colic - infantile: management. Clinical Knowledge Summaries. cks.nice.org.uk [Accessed May 2018]

Purple crying. nd. What is the period of PURPLE crying? www.purplecrying.info [Accessed May 2018]

St James-Roberts I. 2012. The origins, prevention and treatment of infant crying and sleep problems: an evidence-based guide for healthcare professionals and the families they support. London: Routledge, pp44, 176

St James-Roberts, Peachy E. 2011. Distinguishing infant prolonged crying from sleep-waking problems. Arch Dis Child. 96(4):340-4. doi: 10.1136/adc.2010.200204. Epub 2011 Jan 10 [Accessed May 2018]

Underdown A, Barlow J, Stewart-Brown S. 2010. Tactile stimulation in physically healthy infants: results of a systematic review. J Reproductive Infant Psychol 28(1):11-29. DOI: 10.1080/02646830903247209 [Accessed May 2018]

Wolke D, Bilgin A, Samara M. 2017. Systematic review and meta-analysis: fussing and crying durations and prevalence of colic in infants. J Pediatr 185:55-61.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.02.020. Epub 2017 Apr 3 [Accessed May 2018]

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If the child does not eat well: what to do and what not to do

What to do if the child does not want to eat.

- Malyusik, well, one more spoon - and that's it! Last! I ate only two, let's have a little more, here's the most delicious piece for you! - says the average mother, offering a spoon with one hand, playing the accordion with the other, showing the trick with the disappearance of the handkerchief with the third, turning the cutlets over with the fourth, while doing somersaults on one leg.

Sound familiar?

Every dad has an instinct to bring home food, and mom has to feed the baby food. And if he refuses to eat, a signal is triggered - "I'm a bad mother" or "the child is sick."

In this case, the most important thing for a parent to understand is whether the child DOES NOT WANT or CANNOT eat?

If the baby is running around, having fun and looking good, without showing any signs of illness, then most likely he does not want to eat. There can be many reasons:

  • A breastfeeding child prefers milk and dairy products, intuitively understanding that he needs calcium, and now milk is healthier for him than soup.
  • The child wants a cookie, not vegetables.
  • He really wasn't hungry. For example, his metabolism is slow, breakfast has not yet been digested, and lunch is already being offered. Or the child was sitting in front of the TV after breakfast and his appetite had not yet had enough time to play out. Compared to the boy next door who was outside all day.
  • If a child is not genetically destined to become Uncle Styopa, then he can eat much less than his peer, who has tall parents.
  • Psychological problems. If earlier you accidentally gave your child a bitter cucumber, then he may refuse any green food. Or you yell at the child during the meal, and for him the food is perceived as a trauma.

If your child is lively, but at the same time he has a "bad appetite", then this is not his problem, but yours - the psychological problem of an unsatisfied instinct. If a child jumps, jumps, he has healthy nails, hair, etc., think less about what he lacks. Better think about something nice))

An active child = not a hungry child.

Wait for the natural desire and correctly distribute energy costs - walk more often, send the child to the sports section, or simply say: “If you don’t want to, take a walk, dinner is not earlier than seven and no snacks.” That is, if your child simply does not want to eat, normalize feeding - strictly at a certain time and without snacks. The body will get used to secrete gastric juice strictly according to the schedule.

And one more thing. There are no rules about how much a child should eat. He can eat a kilo (and make you very happy) and 9Send 00 grams to the toilet. Or eat 100 g and learn everything.

But it is much more difficult if the child CANNOT eat.


  • If you are breastfeeding, you may have “tight breasts”, when it is very difficult for the baby to suck milk.
  • The child has a runny nose, and when he eats, he begins to choke.
  • Food hot, cold, sour, bitter.
  • He has sores in his mouth (for example, from toys), and they hurt when food gets on them.
  • Teeth are cut, gums hurt.
  • Bowel problems. The stomach starts to hurt while eating.
  • The child simply fell ill (cold, SARS, poisoning, influenza, etc.). If the child is sick, and he is not dystrophic, then you should not force him to eat. The body fights infections better when it's hungry. But be sure to drink.

If a child at first shows appetite and interest in food, but refuses to eat through a spoon or two, then, most likely, the process of eating causes him certain difficulties.

If the baby CANNOT eat and you can't identify or eliminate the cause, the best thing to do is contact your pediatrician. The doctor will accurately determine the problem and give the necessary recommendations.

Our clinic has a wonderful pediatrician Yuliya Vladimirovna Sinyagina with 17 years of experience! You can sign up to her))

Bon appetit everyone! As well as strength, patience and satisfied instincts!

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Why does the baby cry and what to do about it

September 22, 2019 Likbez Tips

Never rock your baby too hard!

The average child cries for 2-3 hours a day. And crying always has a reason. Most often they are quite clear: a wet diaper, approaching feeding time, or, for example, a fright caused by a new toy over the cradle. But sometimes, baby tears are a way to complain to parents about less obvious discomfort.

Remember: a child never cries for nothing. Therefore, it is important to understand what worries him.

When to see a doctor urgently if a baby is crying

Call your pediatrician immediately if a crying baby:

  • continues to cry for more than two hours;
  • has a temperature above 38℃;
  • refuses to eat or drink or vomits;
  • does not urinate or has blood in the stool;
  • does not respond to attempts to calm him down.

Various diseases can manifest themselves in this way - from influenza and otitis media to concussion or digestive disorders. It is important to diagnose them in time.

If there are no dangerous symptoms, it is worth looking for the causes of crying in other, quite ordinary things.

When you can cope with crying on your own

1. The baby is hungry

Even if you feed your baby by the clock and are absolutely sure that the time for the next feeding has not yet come. The fact is that babies grow in leaps and bounds. And when the next growth spurt occurs, the child needs more food.

What to do

The first thing you do when you hear your baby crying is to take your baby in your arms and try offering him a breast or a bottle.

2. He is scared

Maybe there was a loud extraneous sound outside the window. Or the door slammed. Or maybe the kid just lost sight of his mother. Be that as it may, even tiny children can feel fear and anxiety, and tears are the most accessible way for them to show it.

What to do

Take the baby in your arms and, as in the previous paragraph, offer him a bottle or breast. Another option is a pacifier: most babies just need to put it in their mouth to calm down.


Is he hot or cold

Parents often want to wrap their baby up. This habit was given to us by evolution: for tens of millennia, keeping warm was the key to survival. But there is another extreme: moms and dads arrange a “hardening” for the child, leaving him naked in a cool room. Since there is not enough fat in the body of a newborn, the baby reacts to cold by crying.

What to do

Check that the child is not cold or overheated. Check if his legs and arms are cold. Did the hair get wet, did it turn red (these are signs that the baby is hot). If necessary, throw a blanket over the crumbs or, conversely, remove excess clothing.

4. The baby is physically uncomfortable

A full diaper is just one of the causes of discomfort that a baby may experience. It happens that other things cause discomfort. Perhaps, too tight diaper elastic rubbed the delicate skin and now this place hurts. Or, for example, between the fingers, "packed" in socks, a thread got in the way, which interferes.

What to do

Check for redness, rash, scratches on the skin. Is the baby under pressure from clothing? In the end, is he in a comfortable position. The reason for crying is the most unexpected things: maybe because of the unsuccessfully turned head, the baby pinched his earlobe. In general, make sure that there are no physical reasons for discomfort.

5. He wants to be wrapped up

Or vice versa - to get rid of excessively tight swaddling.

What to do

Check this assumption: swaddle the baby or, on the contrary, undress him. Maybe the crying will stop.

6. He is tired

Unlike adults, overworked children tend to become fidgety and irritable rather than fall asleep.

What to do

Try putting the baby to sleep. One of the most effective ways to do this is swaddling. In a diaper that restricts movement, the baby feels like in a cramped womb. This calms him down. Another option is vibration. Go for a walk, putting the baby in the stroller and rocking it. Or take a ride in a car, placing the heir or heiress in the infant carrier.

7. The child is under stress

Toddlers have a weak nervous system, so external stimuli - for example, too bright lights and music in the mall or screaming children on the playground - can make him feel uncomfortable and cry.

What to do

Track how your baby reacts to the fuss, noise, light around. You will quickly understand whether he likes it or, on the contrary, annoys him. If the baby is sensitive, try to limit the time you spend in noisy areas.

8. He has a stomach ache

This is a common problem faced by many babies between the ages of 3 weeks and 3 months. Pain can be caused by various factors:

  • swallowed during feeding and not expelled air;
  • heartburn;
  • colic;
  • allergy.
What to do

Remember to keep your baby upright (in a column) after feeding to help him burp up the swallowed air. If you are bottle feeding, use a slow flow nipple.

Colic is not associated with eating. Their causes are not yet well understood, but nevertheless they are considered a normal part of development and go away on their own by 3-4 months. To help the baby, lay him on his tummy more often, and also do a gentle massage of the abdomen in a clockwise direction.

If, despite your efforts, your baby continues to cry frequently, be sure to discuss this with your pediatrician. He may suggest that you take tests to make sure that you are not allergic to components of breast milk (mixture) or to rule out other digestive disorders.

9. He wants to sleep next to his mother

By 6–9 months, babies begin to recognize themselves as separate beings. But even as they get older, they still sometimes want to feel in their mother's arms and may refuse to fall asleep if their mother does not lie down next to them.

What to do

Here the approaches differ. So, American pediatricians believe that you should not fit next to the child or take him in your arms at the first cry. It is worth waiting a while and then letting the baby cry for longer and longer before coming to him. This is supposed to train children's self-control.

However, if you have the time and opportunity, give the baby as much attention as he wants. But do not do this by stepping over your own fatigue and other needs. The more tired the parent, the worse he takes care of the baby.

How to soothe your child

Pediatricians recommend several common ways:

  • Play soft, gentle music in the baby. Perhaps a white noise generator can help you.
  • Talk to the baby. The sound of a mother's or father's voice soothes and gives the baby a sense of security.
  • Help the infant to change position - he may be uncomfortable.
  • Take the baby in your arms and hold it against your chest. The mother's heartbeat, the smell of her skin, her breath, the close embrace - all this reminds the baby of that serene time when he was in the tummy.

How not to calm a child

Never shake him, even if he does not want to calm down, and you are very irritated.

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