5 MAJOR REASONS WHY BABIES’ CRY AT NIGHT AND WHAT TO DO
New parents often wish they had a magic baby cry decoder—especially to figure out why their babies cry at night. Your baby probably won’t sleep through the night until she’s at least three months old. Some babies don’t sleep through the night until six months or older. So it stands to reason that lots of crying starts up when you thought she was sleeping peacefully—or when you’re trying to sleep.
Crying is your baby’s primary way of sending you a message. Babies cry at night to signal that they are in need of your help. Here are the main reasons why babies cry at night, and what to try when you’re wondering how to stop a crying baby.
1. ROUTINE CRYING
This type of crying is usually attributed to disruptions in your baby’s normal schedule, and is rarely due to discomfort associated with a feeding issue. It may be time for your baby to eat or sleep, or your baby may be overstimulated.
What Helps: To soothe a baby crying at night, try cuddling, swaddling, and walking with your baby, all of which provide motion and body contact. A small rechargeable fan in the room can help, too.
2. SHEER HUNGER
Your newborn needs to eat every few hours because her stomach is so tiny. Most babies cry at night because they are hungry.
What Helps: Crying is actually a late indicator of hunger, after things like smacking lips or sucking on fist. Check the clock, and if it’s been two or three hours since the last feeding, your baby is probably waking up to tell you she needs to be fed.
3. DIRTY DIAPER
Some babies can sit in a wet or dirty diaper for hours without a care in the world. Others go nuts if they’re uncomfortable for more than a second. (Can you blame them really?)
What Helps: Take a second to open up the diaper and do a quick check or perform a “sniff test.” You can also opt for a diaper brand that comes with a wetness indicator, like Pampers Swaddlers, which change color when the diaper is wet. That way, you don’t have to undress your child every time you need to investigate whether that baby crying is due to diaper discomfort.
Especially if you’ve just fed your baby and she’s still fussy, check out these other possibilities to learn how to stop a crying baby. A quick diaper change before feedings can make her feel calmer while eating.
If your baby is feeling gassy, and they can’t seem to pass it out of their tiny digestive system, they may feel very uncomfortable!
Baby can start teething as early as 4 months old, and when the pain sets in, an uptick in baby crying is pretty much guaranteed. Other signs of teething are excessive drooling and gnawing on anything within reach. “Sucking either on a pacifier or on your thumb or finger can help soothe baby,” Expert says.
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