Are you a first time parent in Singapore, and facing a daily dilemma asking yourself “why my baby is crying?”
Well, you are not alone.
Most of us have been there, done that. Yep, ask any mum or dad, and they would gladly describe how their dreams and daytime thoughts have constantly been about “why is my baby crying still?”
Best of all, if you google this question (or ask any friends, relatives, or random stranger or companion in a support group), you’d likely get a variety of confounding answers. Next, you would likely try out many orthodox and unorthodox methods to try and stop the baby crying.
How To Find Out The Reason Why Your Baby is Crying
Chance are, you would have to go through quite some time of trial and error, before you fully understand “why my baby is crying”.
As a bottom-line, there is no a definite or universal answer to why YOUR lovely little one is crying. This is because each and every child is unique!
Contrary to some beliefs, babies who are just born do exhibit characteristics and personalities unique to themselves. Not all babies are born with the same temperament and preferences. As such, it is no surprise that the priority of needs for different babies are special for each one.
Nonetheless, there are a gamut of answers to “why my baby is crying”. At MEIDE.SG, we have decided to combine all the experiences of our experts, babysitters, as well as thorough online and offline research, into this article. We’d like to proudly present the 8 and ONLY 8 reasons why babies cry.
8 Reasons Why Your Baby is Crying
Without waiting further (when your baby starts crying again), let us dive deep into the reasons why a baby cries. As a recommendation, always go through the list from top to bottom. When you are stuck in this dilemma again, just recall and go through this list. Eliminate the reasons one by one, and we are certain you will get the answer to why your baby is crying. In fact, repeat this process again and again, and you eventually become a superb answerer to “why my baby is crying”!
- Baby is Hungry (always check this first!)
- Baby is Bloated
- Baby Soiled Diapers
- Baby is Warm or Cold
- Baby is Uncomfortable Generally
- Baby needs to Sleep
- Baby Wants Hug and Kisses
- Baby is Unwell (save this as the last thought)
To help you remember the 8 reasons why your baby is crying, we recommend repeating this catchphrase: “Eat > Bloating > Sleep > Poo/Pee > Cold/Hot > Uncomfortable > Hug > Unwell”.
Yes, when the time comes (anytime!), you might get too flustered to remember every or any single thing you have read or heard about. So, recalling the simple catchphrase above would definitely aid your early parenthood journey!
(1) Baby is Hungry
Firstly, our babies have small digestive systems! The food (milk) goes in fast, and comes out fast! So, babies have to be fed very frequently. In general, they feed every 2 to 4 hours. However, every baby is special. So, some babies (such as those with medical illnesses or premature babies), may need to feed even more frequently. On the other hand, if you may consider yourself lucky, some babies only feed once in 5 hours. Of course, we must say that is rare.
What to do?
Try feeding your baby some milk to soothe their crying. At this point, take note (or better, record it down) of the amount of feed and time of feed. Although some babies feed at regular intervals, others may not. It is good to have a feeding schedule, but also remember that the schedule is not set in stone. It would also be prudent to note the following golden tips about baby feeding:
14 Golden Tips To Prevent Problems When Feeding Your Baby
- Breast milk is always better than formula milk
- Learn how to properly prepare, feed, and store breast milk
- Learn how to properly prepare, feed, and store formula milk
- Your baby might continue to cry, or reject the feed, if you feed milk that is not properly prepared, stored or fed!
- Ensure that the type of milk is suitable for baby of his or her age (formula milk tins are labelled, and avoid Goat or Cow’s Milk before 1 year of age)
- Ensure formula milk (if applicable) is not too diluted or concentrated – follow the dilution method on the formula milk tin
- Ensure the milk is not too hot or cold by testing it on your dorsum of hand
- Ensure the bottle nipple teat is suitably shaped and sized
- Ensure your baby is in a good feeding position for him or herself (no fixed rule)
- If your baby is agitated, calm your baby down first by hugging, kissing, singing, talking to him or her before trying to feed
- If your baby is calm and still rejects the feed, do not force feed. Your baby might be bloated instead! (See below)
- Learn to read the cues of when a baby is getting hungry or full
- Feeding may be more frequent if your baby expended more energy with increased activity, crying, defecating or is sick
- Feeding is usually more frequent is baby is breastfed, because breastmilk is more easily digestible
(2) Baby is Bloated
As mentioned, babies have small tummies! Thus, it is highly likely that sometimes, a baby might be overfed. If your baby has recently just been fed, and is crying, jump to this reason first.
Most of the time, babies do follow a feeding schedule because they need time to digest the feed. Hence, do not keep feeding a baby milk whenever they cry. Overfeeding can lead to vomiting, choking and lung infections.
Instead, if you have gone through the tips and reason above mentioned, and are pretty certain your baby is not hungry, then this is one very common reason why your baby is crying.
Furthermore, babies cry for numerous reasons. If they had been crying lately, of halfway through a feed, gas would likely have entered their stomach. Also, if they have had suboptimal feeding positions, or an inappropriate bottle nipple teat, gas could enter their stomach too. All these contribute to bloating.
What to do?
To help your baby, learn how to burp your baby by carrying him or her over your shoulder, or sitting him or her on your lap. Gentle tap or rub the back to allow air to gradually escape back up through the mouth. Once your baby burps (sometimes several times), he or she would be so satisfied! At this point, take note that burping technique and skill takes practice!
About infant colic
Lastly, do not jump too quick to the conclusion that your baby has “colic”. Often, babies are simply bloated and need burping. If burping does not work, and you have gone through all our other reasons in this article, then perhaps consider seeing a doctor to before deriving the diagnosis of “infant colic”. Of note, the strict definition of infant colic is when a baby is <5 months old, and cries for >3 hours at a stretch, for >3 days a week, for at least 3 weeks!
(3) Baby Soiled Diapers
Thirdly, before you pull your hair out over “Why My Baby is Crying?”, check the diapers! Nowadays, modern diapers even have the wetness indicator whereby a change in color (usually yellow to blue), means it requires changing. Or, you could go by traditional methods like feeling its weight or smelling it.
What to do?
Well, rejoice because if this is the reason why your baby is crying, it is pretty easy to resolve – just change the diaper!
It would be great if you kept track of the time of diaper change, and amount and contents of the urine or feces, as these are important indicators of a baby’s health.
(4) Baby is Warm or Cold
Fourthly, your baby may be crying because of the environmental temperature.
Remember, babies are not exactly “little adults”. Their body functions (thermostat function and homeostatic functions) may be different. Although you yourself and the other adults (or kids) in the room may be feeling perfectly okay, the temperature may actually be too high or low for your little one.
What to do?
Check your baby’s skin tone and feel your baby’s skin. If it is too hot and red, or flushed, it means your baby is too warm. Remove extra layers of clothing, or let your baby have some breeze or air-conditioning. Alternatively, if your baby skin is cold to touch, or have lost its healthy pinkish tone, baby might be too cold. In that case, adjust your air-conditioning, provide your baby warmer clothing, or hug your baby close to your skin.
(5) Baby is Uncomfortable Generally
Yes, we know that this reason is a bit hard to grasp. In fact, as parents, we initially did not realize the importance of this fifth reason! Yet, it is actually a pretty common reason why babies cry.
Fifthly, your baby may be uncomfortable for many random reasons. Here, we list down the common ones:
Check The Clothing
Your baby’s clothes are the wrong fit, wrong material or wrong thickness. Or, perhaps they have not been washed properly. Do remember to use baby’s laundry detergent to avoid skin irritation from strong adult laundry detergents! What to do? Remove the clothing, and see if your baby is happier after that!
Check The Teeth
Your baby may be teething, especially if your baby is of the appropriate age – 6 to 12 months old. What to do? Let them chew or munch, or bite on anything safe!
Give A Baby A Bath
Your baby may be dirty and uncomfortable, especially if they were subjected to warm conditions, soiled, or did not have a shower for some time. Usually, it is best recommended to shower babies once a day. If your baby keeps crying, try to give your baby a bathe and he or she may be appeased finally!
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meide.sg is here for you, always.
(6) Baby needs to Sleep
Sixthly, your baby may be cranky and crying because he or she is simply tired.
If your baby has been pampered so well, with cuddling, activities, and playing by many family members, he or she may be too tired after that. As an awesome parent, you may want to continue to play and entertain your kid. However, do not forget that babies and children are rapidly growing! Hence, they do require much more shut-eye then adults.
How long do babies sleep? It depends on their age and individual characteristics. It can range anywhere from a total of 8 to 17 hours within a 24 hour period. Moreover, the duration of each nap and frequency of napping varies widely too from baby to baby.
What to do?
If your baby seems cranky and is crying, bring your baby to his or her sleeping area. The sleeping area should ideally be quiet, dark and calming. For some parents, having some white noise or tranquil lullabies help too. Let your lovely sweetheart sleep and he or she would be energetic and kicking again in no time.
(7) Baby Wants Hug and Kisses
Now, who would not want to hug or kiss an adorable little baby? Conversely, your sweet tiny youngling actually enjoys all these affection too! Trust us, but babies could hardly get enough of their parents’ attention. If your baby is crying, picking him or her up, and cooing and cuddling would very often soothe the baby.
As such, sometimes babies just need to be picked up, hugged or kissed to be calmed down.
What to do?
Well, just do your thing and show your baby your some endearing love! Us human beings are warm-blooded and made to love. Getting warm cuddles, kisses, or doing some storytelling or humming a lullaby works magic.
Nonetheless, ensure that the other 7 reasons why your baby might be crying – abovementioned, and below-mentioned, are checked too. Often, first time parents rely too much on just pacifying their little one with affection. They would then get trapped in a scenario whereby their baby cries immediately when not being cuddled or carried.
Of course, there would be no limit on showing baby all the love. However, do consider for your own health and well-being. Getting proper rest for yourself and your spouse is vital too, to care for your baby in the many months to come.
(8) Baby is Unwell
Last but not least, your baby is crying because he or she is unwell. Indeed, many worried parents jump to this conclusion very quickly. Doing so may make you more anxious and stressed, especially as a first time parent. Thus, at MEIDE, we save this for the last. Ensure you have gone through the many frequent reasons “Why My Baby Cries” above first!
Thereafter, if you are still clueless and your baby cannot be satiated, consider your baby as possibly being sick!
What to do?
Check your baby’s temperature. The best way is to use a traditional non-mercury thermometer placed and tucked under the baby’s armpit / axilla. It may be difficult with a struggling baby, but persevere for this is important.
Next, record the date, time and temperature. Then, quickly bring your baby to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Do NOT panic. When you do so, it is essential to remember to:
- Bring along or have at hand the baby’s most recent charts for their feeding, diaper change (including amount and time of urine and motion passed), any vomiting (amount and type), activity, and temperature.
- Gather a collaborative history of what had happened to the baby recently from all caregivers and babysitters – for example was the baby more quiet, eating less, had a fall, or had rashes recently?
- Bring along the health booklet including the baby’s medical and birth records, and immunization records.
- Bring the records of any medications given so far, including the name of medicine, expiry date, dosage, frequency, and time last given.
When To Go Straight to the Children’s Emergency
Of course, always remember that not all ailments are treated by your family doctor. There are certain scenarios where bringing your baby straight to the hospital is best. This would save you time, hassle, and ensure a more timely treatment for your baby. Such examples include:
- Your child is less than 1 year old and has a temperature of >37.5 degree Celsius;
- Your child has pre-existing serious medical conditions – such as being previously warded in the Neonatal ICU (NICU), or had previous intubation, or is currently still on specialist follow-up;
- Your child is not feeling better even after recent doctor(s) visit(s);
- Your child had suffered a fall or traumatic injury;
- Your child is severely lethargic and responding much less than usual (eg. drowsy);
- Your child is unable to tolerate any feeds at all (not even a tiny amount);
- Your child appears to have difficulty breathing;
- Your child’s attention/eye focus does not seem to be as usual (eg. cannot focus on you);
- Your child’s skin tone or cheeks or lips are dusky or pale;
- You suspect choking or any foreign objects (eg cut by knife or scissors) being involved in your child’s illness;
This list is definitely non-exhaustive. As a rule of thumb, do not belittle your maternal or paternal instincts. If you feel your child’s crying or change in behavior is serious, head to the critical medical attention as swiftly as possible!
All said, you may not remember everything in this long article.
So, once again, to help you remember the 8 reasons why your baby is crying, we recommend repeating this catchphrase: “Eat > Bloating > Sleep > Poo/Pee > Cold/Hot > Uncomfortable > Hug > Unwell”.
Forgive us for nagging, but when your baby starts crying, your mind gets distracted. Hence, recalling the simple catchphrase above would definitely aid your early parenthood journey! Now, you finally know why your baby cries.
We hope this article has been useful to you, and all the best in your parenthood!
Book your #1 home services today, or join our team!
meide.sg is here for you, always.