Getting to know your baby includes learning what makes them laugh, and what makes them cry.
For new parents, hearing their baby cry can be frustrating and even scary. For babies, crying is a survival skill that lets caregivers know they need help.
Keep reading to learn the most common reasons babies cry—and how to soothe them.
Why do babies cry?
From the very first moments after birth, babies use their voices to communicate physical and emotional discomfort.
The most obvious discomfort is hunger. Sometimes, even adults can feel weepy when they skip one or more meals. That’s even more common for newborns, who need to eat several times a day.
Another common reason for crying is needing attention. Your baby wants to see, hear, smell and feel the calming touch of caregivers. When parents and other family members are out of sight, babies cry to bring their favorite people back to them.
These are just two of many examples. Learn more by watching this video featuring Martha Maldonado, MPH, a Health Education Program Coordinator in north Texas.
How can caregivers calm a crying baby?
After you determine why your baby is crying, you can provide the comfort they need. If not, they might grow more upset, and their crying become much louder.
One technique to try is swaddling. When babies are wrapped in a snug swaddle, with their arms hanging free, it reminds them of their position in the womb during pregnancy.
Parents can also try making a “shush” sound into their baby’s ear. This noise is similar to the noises, such as the mother’s heartbeat, they heard in the womb.
Ms. Maldonado shares additional tips for soothing your baby in this video.
*The provided content is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Consult your individual provider for any specific concerns or questions.
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