Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Why is Baby Crying?

For new parents, hearing the sound of your baby crying is one of the most heart-wrenching experiences you can have. Here is this helpless, tiny little person who cannot tell you what is bothering him or her. All you know is, he or she does NOT seem to be happy, and it is your job as a parent to turn the situation around.

Babies cry for a variety of reasons. They cry when they are hungry, they cry when their diapers need changing and they cry when they are in pain. These are things you, as a parent, can and must do something about. If you are a new parent and your baby is crying, you may be frantic and wondering what to do. Don't panic. Crying is a normal part of baby's routine. As a parent, the first thing you should do is to determine why your baby is crying.

There are several things you can do to assess the reason for your baby's tears. First, ask yourself these questions:

1. Is baby hungry? When is the last time baby ate? It is important to be aware of your baby's eating schedule, including the intervals between eating and the amount baby usually eats. This way, you can relax and rest assured that baby is probably not hungry if very little time has passed since baby's last feeding and if baby ate the usual amount. If it is unlikely that baby could be crying due to hunger, move on to the next question.

2. Is baby dry? If your baby is crying for seemingly no reason and if he or she just recently finished eating, then the first step is to check baby's diaper. When baby is crying, a cursory look at the diaper may not be enough. You may need to really get in there and be absolutely sure that baby's diaper is clean, dry and comfortable. Check to be sure that it is not affixed too loosely or too tightly and that baby's clothes are not too binding.

3. Is baby in pain? If baby is dry and comfortable, the next step is to determine whether baby might be in pain. Baby's sometimes scratch themselves or poke themselves in the eye while trying to work out the kinks of body coordination. Check to make sure baby doesn't have a scratch or injury that needs attending to. Keep baby's fingernails and toenails clipped to avoid such injuries.

4. Is baby comfortable? Baby's have the same likes and dislikes as far as temperatures as big people do. Make sure baby is not under dressed or over dressed for the weather. Make sure baby has adequate covers, not too little and not too much.

5. Is baby sick? Has baby been displaying any signs of illness, such as a fever or spitting up or passing gas an unusual amount? If so, baby may not be feeling well. If you think it may be a simple tummy ache, burping and rocking baby may calm him or her. Otherwise, you may wish to contact your pediatrician.

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