Is your baby crying? Here are the most common causes and how to calm it down

If we think of a child, especially a newborn, one of the first things that comes to mind about it is undoubtedly his cry. In fact, crying is one of the favorite activities of children in the first months of life, since the only means available to them to communicate needs and feelings to mum and dad. However, when crying is too strong or frequent and hardly tends to calm down, can turn into a source of stress for parents, who do not always know how to intervene to calm their little one. To clarify the subject, here are all the meanings that a baby's crying can take and the solutions with which to finally succeed to reassure him.

Before you start, watch this video and find out about all types of crying in babies!

Baby crying: meaning

Crying in babies, especially when they are small, is a common and natural physiological phenomenon. It is a primordial form of communication, the only one with which the newborn is able to attract the attention of their parents and make them aware of their needs. Although it is not always easy to understand how to interpret children's crying, it is often the expression of a need, for example for sustenance and affection, or a request for help that requires immediate response and intervention from parents. In general, this tendency of babies to cry frequently, especially at night, gradually decreases after the first three months of life.

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Why is the baby crying

In the first months of life, especially between 6 and 8 weeks, babies crying should be understood not only as a means of communication, but also as a natural and spontaneous reflex that we often don't have to worry about, although in the long run it can be quite stressful and annoying. For 95% of cases, in fact, there is no serious pathology or any health problem behind the baby's crying, so there is no need for mom and dad to be alarmed. However, when a newborn cries, it would be useful and important for parents to be able to interpret the cry, according to its characteristics. There are, in fact, different types of crying, such as hunger crying, which gradually increases in intensity, or pain crying, intense, constant and alternating with sobs.

If you are wondering why your baby is crying, here are the most common causes:

  • Hunger: This is the most common cause of crying in babies. In fact, crying is the only means available to the baby to ask for nourishment from the mother. The crying ends only once the need is satisfied.
  • Physical discomfort and other annoyances: A newborn cries for various reasons, such as a wet / dirty diaper, a feeling of excessive cold or hot, annoying noises.
  • When a child struggles to fall asleep or fall asleep again, they tend to cry to make their parents aware of this problem and get them to intervene to solve it.
  • Fright or fear: for example, when the child begins to officially recognize the faces and features of mum and dad, the child may cry at the sight of a stranger, whose appearance or vocal timbre is not familiar to him at all.
  • Pain: the child has been injured and cries because he needs the comfort and care from his parents.
  • Teething: the appearance of the first teeth is certainly one of the most painful processes a child undergoes in the first months of life. In this case, crying is a totally natural and quite widespread response to suffering.

However, there are some health conditions that cause babies to cry, such as:

  • Colic: gaseous colic are a very common problem in babies, especially after the first three weeks of life and, for this reason, they should not cause excessive concern in parents. To understand if this is the reason why the baby cries frequently, we must pay attention to some details: the crying always occurs around the same time, usually after meals in the afternoon or in the evening, it does not stop even if the baby it is picked up or cradled and this tends to shake the arms and legs, even going so far as to arch the back in pain.
  • Hair tie syndrome
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Middle ear infection
  • Intestinal blockage

© Getty Images

Crying baby: when to worry

As we have repeated many times, in most cases, the baby's crying is a completely normal condition and should not cause concern for parents. It is undeniable that this is an annoying phenomenon for many mothers and for many fathers, but it is one of the elements that usually characterize the first months of babies' life and must be accepted and endured with patience, trusting in its tendency to subside after the first trimester. . However, there are some exceptions for which crying can be an indication of other serious pathologies for which immediate confirmation by the pediatrician through physical examination and targeted checks is urgent. However, we are talking about rather sporadic cases in which crying is accompanied by other disorders such as: vomiting, fever, difficulty in breathing, bruising or swelling of the head, convulsions, or when the newborn cries for no apparent reason and in the total absence of obvious discomfort.

Is it dangerous to let a baby cry?

If the baby cries too much, it can generate a sense of enormous frustration and, at times, even despair in the parents. It is for this reason that some believe that ignoring their baby's crying can be the win-win. However, this is a strategy that can only work for years to come, when the baby has grown up and cries on whim or for trivial reasons, certainly not when dealing with a newborn.It is important, in fact, that the child perceives our closeness as parents, especially in times of need, on the contrary, however, an indifferent attitude could generate a sense of discouragement in the small and, sometimes, small or large traumas that can affect the its future development. If ignored, in fact, the child will feel neglected and will feel with certainty that he cannot rely on his parents, experiencing a serious and well-founded fear of abandonment.

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How to calm a crying baby

When a child cries, it can happen that parents are overwhelmed by anxiety and a sense of helplessness. Despite this, it is important to rationalize, first of all understanding what the baby tries to communicate to us through crying. Especially in the moment of contact, the presence of mum and dad must transmit calm and serenity, otherwise the stress and nervousness of adults will end up infecting the child as well, further worsening the situation. So while some crying fits seem inconsolable, there are proven techniques that parents can use to calm their babies, such as the following:

  • In most cases, the baby cries because he is hungry. Therefore, without alarmism, proceed with the foraging of the baby, without exaggerating and avoiding resorting to this default solution even when it is not necessary, in order to put an end to crying.
  • If your baby cries, you can start calming him by picking him up and rocking him gently. When the baby perceives the closeness of the parents and establishes physical contact with them, he immediately feels more relaxed and, consequently, stops crying.
  • A fundamental component in the consolation process of the newborn is undoubtedly given by the voice. It happens, in fact, that the little one just needs to hear the sweet and sweet voice of mum and dad to calm his restlessness. However, there are also other sounds that can help soothe a crying baby, such as the sound of the waves of the sea, the rain, the hairdryer and even the vacuum cleaner.
  • If a baby cries very excitedly only on certain occasions and is regularly breastfed, it is important that the mother analyzes her behavior, investigating whether among the foods consumed there is one in particular that may irritate the baby. making him cry. In this case, it is advisable to eliminate the aforementioned food from the maternal diet for the entire duration of breastfeeding.
  • If your baby's crying seems to be relentless, you can always resort to a solution that is as old as it is effective, that is to take him around in the car. In fact, the movement of the vehicle will help to calm the little one, making him stop crying. However, be careful not to turn it into a vice!
  • Give him the pacifier
  • Wrap it in bands, without tightening too much.
  • Help him digest with the correct maneuver.
  • Once the first few months of life have elapsed, parents can wait a few minutes before running so that the baby can develop his own self-comfort system through the sucking reflex.
  • If the baby is crying because he is suffering from gas colic (see above), there are some measures that parents, especially the mother, can take to remedy the problem. First of all, it is good to review the position in which it is breastfed in order to prevent an extra accumulation of air in the stomach and, in case of pain, massage the tummy and keep the baby in a prone position on the forearm.

© Getty Images

In conclusion, we would like to reiterate that feelings such as frustration and discouragement are totally normal in a parent, exhausted by their child's crying, and should not give rise to unjustified feelings of guilt. If necessary and always and only so that the little one is not in a situation of obvious danger, mum and dad can wait a few minutes before intervening, thus regaining the necessary clarity to help the child. Furthermore, it is important that they know that they are not alone and that they can always ask for help from expert figures such as psychologists and pediatricians, on whose experience and expertise they can rely on to deal with moments of discouragement.

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