My newborn is crying, what should I do?

Sleeping, feeding, and crying, these are all behaviors of a newborn in the first few months. Newborn babies cry because they are hungry, restless, wet or uncomfortable, or just because they need a hug, sometimes even for no apparent reason.

Why do newborns cry?

Newborn babies cry to tell others what they need. If you're a breastfeeding mom, your baby's cries can trigger breast milk letdown reflexes, even when you are asleep.

The crying peak of a newborn baby is usually around the 6th to 8th week, which is a difficult period for many parents, but it will pass eventually.

Babies cry on average for nearly three hours a day, some cry longer, and most of this crying occurs in the afternoon or evening. As your baby gets older, there will be less time to cry and it will be easier to understand what your baby needs when they cry.

Crying is usually a sign that a newborn baby is tired or overstimulated, but there can also be other signs, for example they might pull at their ears or suck on their fingers.

How to respond to a newborn baby's crying behavior?

Newborn babies are struggling to explore their new world, and parents' responses to their baby's behavior can convey a lot of information about the world, for example, when a baby cries, someone will give them what they need: whether it is a diaper change, a feed or a hug, and your baby will know that the world is a wonderful place.

When parents respond quickly to soothe a crying newborn baby, the baby may stop crying, and this can help your baby feel safe and know that the parents are nearby. Newborn babies cry because they need reassurance, and a calm and consistent response from parents can help babies understand that the world is a safe place.

How to soothe a crying baby

If your baby is crying a lot, it can be frustrating and overwhelming. Here are some tips for parents:

  1. Try putting your baby in a safe place like a cot, or let someone else hold your baby for a while;
  2. Reduce the environmental stimulation around your baby, you can try to sit with your baby in a quiet, dimly lit room;
  3. Wrap or swaddle your baby in a baby blanket to help your baby feel safe;
  4. Hum a gentle, calming tune to let your baby know it's your voice;
  5. Lay your baby on their side in the crib and pat their back rhythmically. If your baby falls asleep, gently turn your baby on their back;
  6. Taking your baby out for a walk in a stroller can help soothe your baby's emotions;
  7. Try creating "white noise" similar to a fan, a familiar sound can help soothe your baby;
  8. If your baby is crying for no reason and cannot calm down despite all attempts, it may be colic, and you can consult your pediatrician or family doctor.

Help your baby adjust to the new world

As newborn babies learn more about the world and get better at expressing what they need, it becomes easier for parents to understand their baby's expressions and body language.

All children have the right to a safe and secure environment, and no one knows your baby better than you. If you are worried about your baby's crying, consult a pediatrician or family doctor.

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