It is an unfortunate fact of life that babies cry at night, but sometimes it is for perfectly normal, healthy reasons and other times, there might be something wrong. Here is a helpful list of all the reasons your baby might be crying so that you can try and figure out what is going on:
1) They are Hungry-
Babies have small stomachs, which means they need to be fed regularly. Unfortunately for you, often hunger will strike in the middle of the night. With no way of telling you that they are hungry, crying is their only option! The younger your baby is, the more likely that they are hungry, due to the smaller stomach size. Top tip: Even if your baby was crying because they are hungry, they may not stop crying immediately once they start feeding. Give them a few minutes before you start worrying about other reasons for the tears.
2) They need comfort-
Babies need regular physical contact as they find it soothing. Sway them softly in your arms in order to relax them. This often stops the crying and is very important for building up your bond with your baby.
3) The temperature is wrong-
Be careful not to overdress or underdress your baby. As cute as they look all snuggled up in lots of blankets you don’t want them to get too warm. 18 degrees is the perfect temperature for their room. To see if they are too cold or too warm, use their tummy as an indicator, not their head or their feet!
4) They need their nappy changed-
Often it is the smell that will draw you to this. Some babies don’t have a problem sitting in a soiled nappy for a while, but others protest. Loudly! So make sure if your baby is crying you check whether a change of nappy is in order.
5) They need sleep-
Sometimes when babies are overtired they struggle to get to sleep, especially if they have been overstimulated during the day, so they will whine and show distress. If you take them to a quiet room and rock them gently to calm them, this should put them in a mood that it is easier for them to sleep.
6) They are teething-
Teething usually begins around 6 months of age. Unfortunately the baby can start feeling uncomfortable days before the teeth actually become visible, so look out for swollen gums. To stop the tears you can buy a safe teething toy for them to chew on, or rub a clean finger on their gums to soothe them.
7) They are feeling unwell-
When your baby is feeling unwell, often the tone of the crying will be different to the usual noises. If your baby is sounding particularly distressed and the crying is unusually high-pitched than make sure you go see a doctor. Also take note that an unusual level of silence can also be a sign that your baby isn’t feeling well. Just keep a tabs on anything that is out of the ordinary!
8) Sometimes there isn’t a reason-
As frustrating as it is, sometimes there isn’t a specific reason for your baby to cry. Especially if they are less than four months old, crying without a reason is pretty common. So check all of the above possible reasons, try and soothe them with some cuddles and maybe buy some earplugs! However if it does continue uncontrollably for extended periods of time, then be sure to check with a doctor as there could be something wrong.
Every baby is different, and as their mom you will be the best person to work out all the secret meanings behind each scream and each moan. It may seem impossible at times, when you are waking up in the middle of the night for what seems like the 100th time but remember every time you are learning the difference between the tired cries and the hungry cries, something that will help you put them back to sleep more quickly!