Why do babies cry? Come, let’s decode it

Published on: 22 November 2021, 09:30 am IST

Do you get worried the minute your little one starts crying? The baby may be hungry, or may be not! Find out other possible reasons behind it.

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Recognise the signs why your baby may be crying. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Even before your baby can talk, he or she will show signs of hunger or fullness. Understanding your child’s signs of hunger is important so that you can put him or her to the breast while he or she is still calm. This technique is called responsive feeding.

Here, you must watch out for any hints that your bundle of joy might give, and respond promptly to him or her. In this type of feeding, you feed the baby in the right way and let him or her stop when they are full.

Responsive feeding is very important for the overall development and nourishment of the child. All you must do here is provide and the rest, your child will decide.

Keep an eye out for some sign of hunger in your child.

The little ones have their own way of letting you know by becoming more active or alert or when they try to keep their eyes open. Some of the other signs are when they put their hands to the mouth, turn their head towards the breast, have clenched hands and hands more drawn towards the mouth and chest or when you notice them crying when there is a delay in feeding.

Every crying baby is not hungry and every hungry baby does not necessarily cry

Every time the apple of your eyes puckers or smacks lips doesn’t mean the baby is hungry. It has to be correlated with the interval between the last feeds and the baby’s urine output. Such action in a baby immediately or within 1 1/2 hours of last feed, with good urine output, rules out hunger. That’s when it has to be ignored.

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Feeding is not the only solution to manage a crying baby. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Signs to understand that the baby is full

When the stomach is full, the baby gets distracted easily and turns its head from the breast. They even close their mouth, unlatch often, and slow down while suckling. The most common sign is that they relax their hands, open their fingers, and then try to spit. So, always keep an eye out for these signs.

Why does my baby cry?

It’s a myth that if a baby is crying, he or she is hungry and the feed is insufficient. The truth is that hunger is the last reason for the baby to cry.

There are several other reasons why your little one may start crying. Some babies want body touch, and they want to be picked by their mom and dad. Sometimes the uncomfortable clothes/over-wrapping and wet/dirty diapers can lead to crying. During winter, cold is the most common reason. It could also be infantile colic.

What to do when the baby cries?

One of the most common questions of parenthood is what to do when a baby cries? You may receive different answers, remember, everything may just be okay. So when your little one cries, don’t panic and take a deep breath.

  • Sometimes they need attention and love.
  • The cries could be due to lack of sleep or noise, Just relax and try to find the real answer.
  • A baby who is otherwise well between crying episodes, thriving well, and has no localized abnormality on physical examination, doesn’t need further evaluation.
  • The little one may just need adequate skin-to-skin contact. Practice kangaroo care with the mother or any family member.
  • After that, learn to clothe the baby appropriately. Do not swaddle the baby too tight and try to watch for overheated surrounding temperature.
  • Keep checking soiled nappies and practice skincare hygiene.
  • Use saline nasal drops to clear the blocked nose.
  • If you think your baby has fallen from anywhere, check for any injury.
  • Colic is not a diagnosis. It is a clinical condition. Please consult a physician if necessary. Do not use any home remedies or herbal preparations for the same.

Also Read: Hey there new mothers, it is absolutely okay to feel all over the place. Here’s why

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Check for soiled diapers or a blocked nose. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
The last words

There is no medicine to stop any baby from crying. Bottle feeding is not the answer to every crying infant. Try to understand your baby, give warmth and touch, and when it is needed. Finally, take the doctor’s advice when needed.

Dr Y.G. Suvarna Dr Y.G. Suvarna

Dr Y.G. Suvarna,Consultant Neonatology & Paediatrics,Rosewalk Hospital