When your baby cries, it can be difficult to determine what he needs. Should you feed him every time he cries? The answer is not always as straightforward as you might think. In this blog post, we will discuss the reasons babies cry and other things you can try to settle them that aren’t feeding them. We will also provide some tips for new parents who are looking for reasons for baby’s crying in those early months.
Should you feed baby if they’re crying?
Babies cry for a variety of reasons, including being hungry. However, there are other reasons for a fussy baby, such as being tired, needing a diaper change, or simply wanting to be held.
It is very difficult to overfeed a newborn baby (particularly breastfed babies) as they will naturally eat when hungry and stop once full. If you’re unsure of why your baby is crying, and you don’t think hunger is the problem, try some of the following things before reaching for milk:
Check for a dirty diaper
A full or wet diaper can cause babies to cry. If you think your baby might need a change, check his diaper. You can also try using a diaper rash cream or ointment to soothe your baby’s bottom if you think he may have a rash.
Try rocking or holding your baby
Sometimes, all your baby needs is some cuddle time. Try rocking him in a chair or holding him close to see if that helps settle him down. You may find that your crying baby soon becomes a sleepy baby!
Consider other comfort items
If you have tried all of the above and your baby is still crying, he may just be needing some extra comfort. A pacifier can help soothe your baby and provide him with the comfort he needs, though you can also try a blanket or toy. Consider items that are usually with your newborn as they fall asleep.
If your baby is feeling overwhelmed or overstimulated, he may start to cry. To help reduce stimulation, try turning off the lights and TV, and keeping noise to a minimum. (which might also include trying to keep them away from noisy siblings!) You can also hold your baby close to you and speak in a soft voice.
Play with them
Babies are often entertained by simple games and activities. Try playing peek-a-boo, blowing bubbles, or singing nursery rhymes to see if your baby will stop crying and start laughing instead. Eye contact is important during play, so keep your face at their level to make the most of this time.
Use repetitive motion with soft sounds
Many babies find repetitive motion calming. You can try swaying back and forth, rocking in a chair, or even taking a walk. You can also try making soft shushing noises or playing white noise in the background to help soothe your baby.
How do you tell if baby is hungry?
Babies cry for all sorts of reasons, but how can you tell if your baby is actually hungry?
There are a few hunger cues you can look for before you feed your baby:
Sucking on hands or anything else in reach
If your baby is sucking hands or putting anything else in reach into his mouth, he may be trying to tell you he’s hungry. Sucking motions could be a sign that your baby is
Opening and closing his mouth
Another common hunger cue is opening and closing the mouth, sometimes called “rooting.” This is when your baby turns his head towards something that has touched his cheek – usually your hand – and starts to open and close his mouth.
Turning their head from side to side
Your baby may also turn his head from side to side if he’s hungry. He’s likely looking for your nipple or a bottle. Breast-fed babies are more likely to try and nuzzle into mom’s chest as they’re being cuddled.
Should I wait until baby cries to feed?
You’ve just put your baby down for a nap and he starts to cry. What do you do? If you’re like most parents, you pick him up and feed him. But is that the best thing to do?
Whether you wait until your baby cries before you feed them will depend on how long it has been since their last feeding. If it has only been a short while, you may want to wait to see if they will settle down on their own. However, if it has been several hours since their last feeding, your baby is likely hungry and you should go ahead and feed them.
However, if you think the crying may be due to something else (such as being tired or needing a diaper change), you can try some of the other things on this list before resorting to feeding them. They may be cold, need comfort, be in pain or be overtired.
Why does my baby keep crying even after feeding?
If your baby is fussy even after you’ve fed him, there are a few possible explanations. One possibility is that he’s gassy. When a baby swallows air while eating, it can build up in his stomach and cause discomfort. You may need to burp your baby more frequently during and after feedings to help relieve the gas.
Another possibility is that your baby has colic. This is a condition that affects some babies and can cause them to cry for long periods of time, even after they’ve been fed and burped. If you think your baby may have colic, talk to his pediatrician about ways to help ease the symptoms.
It’s also possible that your crying baby is simply overtired. A baby who hasn’t had enough sleep is often cranky and hard to soothe. Try putting your baby down for a nap or bedtime a little earlier than usual to see if that helps him stop crying.