Why Babies Cry

Babies cry. There is no way around it. They can’t talk and tell you what is upsetting them, so they cry. As your baby becomes familiar with the many nuances of life outside the womb, it may help to remember all the changes he or she is experiencing.

As her new digestive system gets up and running, your baby may need some help with gas pains or general fussiness. This is not the same as colic. Many times, you can calm your baby by simply making sure she are fed, clean and held often. Sometimes, you need a little extra help. Families have had success with feeding baby upright, rather than horizontal across the body. Keeping the baby upright for about 30 minutes after eating can reduce reflux and spitting up. Remember if baby is projectile vomiting or spitting up large amounts (small amounts are very normal) then be sure to call your lactation consultant or pediatrician for guidance. Tummy time, carrying baby in a football hold or “wearing” your baby in a wrap can apply gentle pressure on the abdomen and give comfort to a gassy tummy. Baby massage is another way to bond with and provide relief for your baby. Skin-to-skin contact through massage or kangaroo care may calm parents too!

If baby is fed, is warm enough (but not too warm), has a clean diaper and continues to cry, it can be frustrating. Remember you can place baby safely in a crib and walk away for a 10 - 15 minute break. You need to care for yourself during stressful times so you don’t accidently harm yourself or your baby. It is okay for a baby to cry and it is okay to walk away and catch your breath. You can also try to swaddle, sway, or shush (white noise) your baby. Sucking is also comforting for baby. If healthy bottle and/or breastfeeding patterns are already set (about 2 - 4 weeks) then you can try offering baby a pacifier.

Just as babies are adjusting to new lights, temperatures, textures, sounds and foods, parents are adjusting to their new jobs too. At times when you don’t have the answers, be sure to reach out. Call a friend, ask another parent, talk to a nurse, a lactation consultant, a pediatrician, La Leche League, Lovelace New Parent Group or a home visitor. Do your best not to follow myths and be sure to trust only knowledgeable websites. Lovelace Labor of Love is always near to provide reliable community resources.

  • Pediatrician appointments: 505.727.2727
  • Lactation Consultant: 505.727.6797
  • Connection to Home Visiting, La Leche League, New Parent Group or Labor of Love: 505.727.7677.