Babies cry to communicate their needs. Before children begin to talk and use words, crying is the primary way for them to communicate. Although there are distinct cries, it is difficult at times to know what your baby is trying to let you know.
What he may be trying to communicate:
“I need my diaper changed.”
“My tummy hurts.”
“I just need to be hugged and loved.”
What should I do?
Try to comfort your child. If hungry, try to nurse or give a bottle. If sleepy, rock your child while humming. If fussy try to calm your child with a warm bath, or more rocking and snuggling. If you suspect your child has gas or a tummy ache, lay your child flat on her back and bicycle her legs or pat her back while she is over your shoulder in order for her gas to expel.
Try to keep yourself calm and relaxed. Your baby will sense if you are frustrated or anxious and may have more difficulty being comforted.
What to do when nothing works:
Take your baby and get out of the house for a walk or car ride, or just rock on the porch instead of indoors. The change of scenery may help both you and your baby calm down. Try bouncy seats, swings, or anything with a rhythmic motion to soothe your baby.
If you are beginning to feel at your wit’s end, ask for help. Get someone else to relieve you for a few minutes while you regroup. Being held by a new person might also help your baby stop the crying. Any time you feel as though you are beginning to lose your cool with a crying baby, put the baby down in a safe place, call a friend or PAL (1-866-962-3030) to talk about your frustration. Never take out your frustration on your child!