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Crying Baby: What to do when your newborns scream?

The dream: Your baby is already sleeping through the night after a few weeks, chuckling happily while running errands, and only when hungry.

The Reality: Your baby's favorite time is 2 o'clock after feeding. The crankiness tip is on the way. They had no idea that a baby could cry so long.

Sound familiar? On a given day, a newborn can cry for up to two hours or even longer. Find out why babies cry and what they can do about it.

Decrypting the tears

A crying baby is trying to tell you something. Your job is to find out why your baby is crying and what you can do about it. Think about what your crying baby might think.

I'm hungry.

Most newborns eat around the clock every few hours. Some babies panic when hungry. To avoid such frenzy, you respond to early signs of hunger. Frequent regurgitation can help reduce the symptoms that can cause tears.

When you breastfeed your baby, the taste of the milk may change in response to what you eat and drink. If you suspect that a particular food or beverage makes your baby more restless than usual, avoid it for several days to see if it makes a difference. If you are feeding your baby food, your baby's doctor may recommend changing the formula.

I want to suck on something.

Sucking is a natural reflex. For many babies it is a calming and soothing activity. If your baby is not hungry, you may offer a pacifier or help your baby find fingers or thumbs.

I am lonely.

Sometimes it can be easy to see you, hear your voice or cuddle up the tears. Keep your baby calmly against your chest. You can place your baby on the left side to aid digestion or on the abdomen to support it. Gentle stroking on the back can also soothe a crying baby.

I'm tired

Tired babies are often fussy – and your baby may need more sleep than you think. Newborns often sleep up to 16 hours a day. Some newborns sleep even more.

I'm wet.

For some babies, a wet or dirty diaper is a surefire way to trigger tears. Often check your baby's diaper to make sure it's clean and dry.

I want to move.

Sometimes a rocking session or a walk through the house can calm a crying baby. In other cases, a change of position is sufficient. Taking into account the safety precautions, you should try a baby swing or a vibrating child seat. Go outside with the stroller. You may even want to strap on for a drive.

I would rather be bundled.

Some babies feel safest in a wrap wrap. Wrap your baby in a sleeping blanket or another small, lightweight blanket.

I'm hot or cold.

A baby who is too hot or too cold will probably feel unwell. Add a layer of clothing as needed.

I have enough.

Too much noise, exercise, or visual stimulation can make your baby cry. Move to a quieter environment or lay your baby in the cradle. White noise – such as taking in ocean waves or the monotonous sound of an electric fan or vacuum cleaner – can help your crying baby relax.

Over time, you can recognize your baby's needs by his way of crying. For example, a hungry cry might be brief and quiet, while a cry of pain might be a sudden, long, shrill scream. When you pick up a pattern, you can better respond to your baby's cries.


If your baby does not look sick, you've tried everything and it's still annoying or she's screaming. Crying does not harm your baby – and sometimes a crying spell can only be run through the path.

Of course, listening to your baby suit can be agonizing. If you need to distract yourself for a few minutes, put your baby safely in his crib and take a quick shower, call a friend, or have something to eat.

Is it just restlessness or colic? 19659030] Some babies have frustrating periods of intense, inconsolable crying known as colic – usually starting a few weeks after birth and improving with the age of 3 months.

Colic is often defined as three hours a day, three days a week, for three weeks or longer in an otherwise well-fed, healthy baby. The crying could start suddenly and for no apparent reason. During an episode, your baby may find it difficult or impossible to comfort.

What causes colic remains a mystery and the effectiveness of treatment varies. If you are worried about colic, contact your baby's doctor. He or she can make sure your baby is otherwise healthy and help you learn how to look after a baby with colic.

Taking care of yourself

It's hard to hear the cry of your baby. However, if you stay relaxed, it will be easier to comfort your baby. To take care of your baby, it is important to take care of yourself.

  • Take a break. Ask your spouse, partner or other loved one if you want to take him over for a while. Even an hour alone can help to renew coping skills.
  • Meet a healthy lifestyle. Eat a healthy diet. Integrate physical activity into your everyday life. If you can, sleep when the baby is sleeping – even during the day. The better you are rested, the better you can cope with a crying baby.
  • Remember that it is only temporary. Crying Spells usually peak in six to eight weeks and then gradually decrease. Contact your baby's doctor. If you are worried about crying or your baby is not eating, sleeping or behaving as usual, consult your baby's doctor. He or she can help you to see the difference between normal tears and something more serious.

It is also important to recognize your limitations. If your baby's crying causes you to lose control, move the baby to a safe place, such as a cradle, and move to another room to pick you up. If necessary, contact a family member or friend, your doctor, a local crisis intervention service, or a mental health hotline for assistance.

Updated: 2015-09-16

Release date: 2001-01-31

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