My Baby Cries All the Time! What Can I Do?
A newborn baby’s cries can be overwhelming. When my son was an infant, I remember wondering what was wrong with him. Why did he cry so much? Why didn’t he want to lay in his bassinette and watch his mobile until he drifted off to sleep? I wanted to pick up the phone and call the doctor to say "My baby cries all the time! Help!"
Babies cry for many different reasons. Their cries are all they have to communicate with us. As adults, we become so focused on verbal language, we have a hard time looking past that to try and understand the meaning behind our baby’s cries.
So what can we do about a baby that cries all the time? First, pay close attention to when and how your baby cries. It may even be helpful to keep a log to see if there is a pattern to your baby’s crying. Babies who have food sensitivities might have bouts of crying after mom eats a trigger food.
Do not automatically assume that your baby has a food allergy, though. The most common allergic reactions come from cow’s milk or dairy products, but a reaction in baby is usually accompanied by signs of the allergy in their stool. Even though many people are quick to blame fruits and vegetables for the fussiness in their babies, it’s unlikely that foods that give you gas will also give your baby gas. Gas forms during digestion of the culprit food, but breastmilk is produced by the nutrients in your blood stream. Breastfeeding mothers need not stay away from garlic, onion, or other spicy foods, as the flavor of these things are broken down during mom’s digestion process and the irritating acids that result are not likely to pass through the breastmilk to baby.
Reflux is a very common problem in babies. If your baby is most fussy immediately after eating, and especially if he spits up a lot, talk to your doctor about reflux. Some things you can do to help minimize reflux is to feed your baby slowly and keep him as vertical as possible while eating and keep him upright after eating, to give his system time to digest. If your baby is breastfed, do not be concerned about what may seem like large amounts of spit-up if it only happens some of the time. Breastmilk is so easily digested, that even though it may seem baby has spit up his entire meal, this is not the case.
Another reason babies cry all the time is because they are tired but do not know how to go to sleep. This was the problem I had with my son. If you find that your child is happy upon awakening but will suddenly start crying an hour or so later, it is likely that he is tired. Try nursing him, walking or rocking him or singing to him to help him drift off to sleep.
Finally, if your baby is not hungry, is not suffering from a physical ailment, and is not crying because she is tired, it might be time to just show her some sympathy while she airs her frustration. Do not leave your baby to cry alone. The best thing you can do when you feel like you have tried everything but she is still crying is just hold her and tell her it is okay. Let her know that you are there to listen to her. Many parents feel it is their responsibility to stop the crying. Try to retrain your mind to allow your child to have feelings of frustration and sadness. Expressing these feelings is healthy, and for babies, crying may be the only expression they have. Lend a sympathetic ear.
Parenting a baby that cries all the time is an exhasting job. Remember that you need to take care of yourself, too. A crying baby can be very irritating, especially if you do not know what is wrong. Call on your friends and relatives to help you through this rough time. Ask someone to hold your baby while you take some time to recharge.
Remember that this early stage of crying all the time will pass. For us, when my son started noticing the world around him and started reaching for objects, his crying dramatically decreased. He could now focus on something else besides crying, and that was a welcome relief.
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