As we all know, babies cry A LOT! There is no getting a way from that fact, and I have cared for my fair share of crying babies, and once you get used to hearing your babies cry you may even be able to distinguish what that cry means. Being a newborn photographer i am around newborns a vast majority of my time and I have put together a list of reasons why your baby may cry, as their crying may not always mean they are in pain!
First things first, let’s get those obvious ones out the way. Your baby may just be hungry, and never underestimate how much your little babe can eat! They don’t call it ‘hangry’ for no reason, I for one definitely get ‘hangry’ and really most people can get a little cranky when they are hungry, let’s be real, and so does your baby, there are a few ways to know your baby is hungry before they go from zero to screaming pretty quick, you can look for, sucking of their hands or rooting, or turning their head searching for milk. According to experts a baby’s hunger cry may also include a ‘neh’ sound as this comes from baby’s tongue reflexively hitting the roof of their mouth in search for milk.
Secondly, some babies are not fussy about the state of their diaper and in fact some babies can go for hours with a dirty diaper, but most are uncomfortable, and I will include myself in that, as alike I’m sure you will to! So, you could do a real quick ‘sniff test’ or take a peek inside but beware you may find a present in their waiting for you! Another useful thing you could do is purchase the diapers that have the wetness indicator that way you won’t need to undress your baby every time to investigate.
Thirdly let’s talk about the dreadful word colic. I know most parents are worried about their baby having colic, so this is definitely a topic to discuss! Colic is known as an attack of crying and what appears to be abdominal pain in young infancy. Colic usually appears a few weeks after birth and carries on until the infant is about three to four months old. Even though they may cry a great deal, colic is neither dangerous nor harmful. If your baby is fed, clean and well cared for and is otherwise found healthy, they will most likely be diagnosed with colic. However, some symptoms to look out for are, intense crying, changed posture including clenched and tensed muscles, sleep may become irregular and intense crying whilst they are passing wind. It is suggested that wind or indigestion may be involved in colic, but the causes are largely unknown. As colic is a normal part of some infants’ lives and is not harmful, it is not usually recommended to give medication. Anybody who suspects that their baby might be unwell should visit a doctor.
Let’s talk about overstimulation. It’s a real thing for newborn babies, it may be because they are being passed around family and friends for a cuddle, or they are may just not be used to all the communion of the grocery store. We can all get sensory over load from time to time and so can your babe, this beautiful new world they have entered is a lot to take in, so it might not take much to get them upset.
Finally, tumble troubles and the need to burp. If your baby is arching their back or pumping their legs, it could be a sign that your sweet baby has some gas, a good way to help them is to hold their legs whilst they are laying on their back and push them forward almost like they are riding a bicycle, this can sometimes help to relieve the gas. Everybody remembers that babies need to be burped after they have been fed, but sometimes they may need to be burped after sucking on their pacifier or having the hiccups as all of these can resort in swallowing air.
Now let’s talk through some methods that can help soothe baby, many people may know them as the 5 s’ however through my experience with babies I have added my own S, so here are 6 methods that can help baby.
Shush – After your sweet babe has spent months all nice and cozy in momma’s tummy they can become unsettled with all the new sounds they can hear. White noise is a familiar sound that keeps them calm and helps them drift off to sleep. The white noise or shushing sound baby can hear is the sound of blood flow in mom’s tummy and this can sometimes help to settle them.
Swaddle – this is a big one for me, because when I start out my sessions I always start with wrapped, because baby usually drifts off into a nice sleep once they are all nice cozy just like they were in the womb.
Side or stomach position – The back is the only safe position for sleeping, but it’s the worst position for calming fussiness. You can either hold your baby on their side, on their stomach or over your shoulder. You’ll see your baby mellow in no time. However, some baby’s may not like it so much but its worth a try!
Swing– imagine how life is for you baby in the womb. Whilst your walking around, walking up and down stairs, it can get a bit jiggly, therefore babies like to be rocked, as always supporting your baby’s neck and head you can use fast but tiny motions to swing/rock and then soothe your baby.
Suck – Now I know everybody has their own views and opinions of pacifiers, however it is one the soothing methods, baby’s love to suck and it can comfort them, and sometimes send them into a deep sleep.
Stroke (my added S) – From my experience, I have found some baby’s love that little stroke on the nose or a gentle stroke on the top of their head, and it can sometimes settle them down, I for one am a sucker for being stroked on the face, and I know some babies love it to!
I hope you expecting mamas find my information useful throughout this precious journey you are now starting. Contact me for more information on my newborn sessions.
This blog post is intended for people with interest or expecting parents, I am in no way a medical professional and information given is of the opinion of Stacey Abner.