Parenting & Pregnancy

5 Baby Crying Causes and How to Deal with Them



If your baby feels pain, his crying will have a shrill, urgent note that will start your adrenaline pumping. The cause may be bathwater that’s too hot or an accidental prick with a diaper pin, or he may have a more serious injury. A painful condition, such as colic or an ear infection, may make him cry inconsolably. If you suspect that your baby is ill, you should seek medical help.

Lack of physical contact

Your baby may cry simply because he needs physical reassurance from you. The most natural response to a baby’s cries is to pick him up and cuddle him. In many cultures, babies are held and carried in slings most of the time. Hold him close to your body or with his chest and body pressed against your shoulder and walk around with him. If neither of these positions soothes him, try cradling his head and neck in the crook of your left arm so that he is facing out, with your left hand supporting his body and your right hand holding him between his legs.

Carrying him around in a sling is an alternative way of keeping him close to your body and has the advantage of leaving your hands free. Graduate to a backpack when he’s older. Most babies love “kangaroo care,” or skin-to-skin contact with their mother or father. Try giving him a massage. Don’t let your newborn baby cry for long periods. He will become distraught, and it will take you much longer to comfort him if you let him become too distressed.


As your baby grows older and becomes more aware of and interested in his surroundings, if he is left on his own with nothing to distract him, he will probably cry to attract your attention. Make sure he has plenty to look at when he is alone. Mobiles, pictures, activity centers, or a few favorite toys will keep him amused when he is awake in his crib. Prop him up in his buggy or put him in a bouncy chair and let him watch what you are doing.

Separation anxiety

About the age of six months, your baby may start to cling to you physically and emotionally. He may become very distressed if he is separated from you, crying even if you are out of sight for only a few moments. Separation anxiety often goes hand-in-hand with a fear of strangers, and he may even become shy with familiar adults. This can be a very trying stage for parents, and it needs careful handling.

Try to get your baby used to the idea of being left with other people, starting with very short periods of no longer than 20 minutes. It’s important that he understands that when you go out, you will always come back. Avoid slipping away without his noticing. He will be distressed if he suddenly finds you are gone and will cry and cling to you even more the next time you try to leave him.


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