When you’re a new mom, everything is all completely new to you and even if you have other children, your new baby can feel like a complete mystery. Young babies do not do a lot initially; they are coming to terms with the new world around them and the new world can be frightening. After all, small babies can do nothing for themselves and there are lots of things which make them feel unhappy.
There are lots of different reasons why a baby can cry. These can include a dirty diaper, uncomfortable wind or needing burping, hungry, tired or overtired, bored or under stimulated, lost pacifier, too hot, too cold if they have lost their favorite blanket, the dark, sun in their eyes- you name it, a baby can cry about it. Therefore it is unsurprising that the average newborn cries for around two hours each day (not continuously!).
Interpreting the cry can be really hard. The important thing is that over time you will know the kind of things your baby cries about. So your baby might cry for being bored, but your friend’s baby might not cry for that.
Deciphering the cry can be tricky at first, but cries are different depending on how uncomfortable/unhappy the baby is. Think about the obvious signs of what it can be- the smelly diaper, the lost pacifier, a long time since breakfast, these give you a starting point and you should be able to sort out the problem quickly. If you don’t know what it is, think about the way they are crying.
Is it loud or quiet, are they calm or red in the face, are there tears? Are they inconsolable or soothed when picked up? You will soon get to learn what your baby likes and doesn’t so put this together with the type of cry they are making.
In thinking about crying don’t forget illness and teething, which are important considerations. They tend to cause persistent crying, but you may see some physical indicators for these too such swollen, red gums or a swollen belly. If it is persistent and you are ever unsure of what it could be, consult a physician.
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