Whether you are pregnant or a first-time mom or dad, you should know babies cry. While some babies are quieter than others, babies cry to communicate their needs and wants.
A baby’s most basic needs are to be fed, changed and sleep. Babies to infants will eat anywhere between every 2-5+ hours depending on their age. Please reference a reliable source on baby and infant feeding, such as this one by John Hopkins Medicine: for more information.
Babies also need sufficient sleep which will not only help their mood, but it is vital for their development. It is important not to put your baby down under tired or over exhausted. This can cause irritability. It is important to develop a sleep time routine with your little one, the earlier the better. Remember how you put your baby down to sleep is how they will want to be put back to sleep when they wake up, so many people put their baby down sleepy but not asleep. This will train your baby to fall asleep on their own or without feeding/rocking/etc.
We also recommend a massage to help your baby relax, as well as to help with colic, digestion, muscle development and so much more.
Make sure to also keep your baby changed and dry. A wet diaper can cause diaper rash and skin irritation which can be painful for your little one. Always keep a diaper rash cream and baby powder handy, as well as remember to change your baby regularly.
Once these three basic needs are met and your baby is still irritable they might be needing your touch. Touch not only has many benefits in a baby’s development but it is arguably a necessity for all. Hold your little one, rock them, and massage them.
Your baby knows your voice, they have since about 27 to 29-week gestation in the womb. Try singing to your baby or speaking to them in a soft voice. Your baby might even have a favorite song. Some parents play music for their baby from a young age or while pregnant, and this music might be extra calming for your little one. My baby personally enjoys white noise, and this helps her relax both at bedtime and when irritable.
If after all these steps your baby continues to cry and you feel your head is going to explode, take a breath. You might even need to take a minute to your self. Mothers in particular can be hyper sensitive to their baby’s cries due to oxytocin production.
There was definitely a time after a few days of traveling with my 6 month old, that she was non-stop crying. She was fed and changed. However, I think after a flight and so many hours in the car, she was overwhelmed, and so was I. She cried almost non-stop for two nights in a row. All I could do was rock her, keep her close to my chest and sing to her. However, all my efforts were almost fruitless. I remember this experience vividly as a first time mother. I used to feel guilty almost for not knowing what my baby needed, but all her basic needs were met, the most important thing after that was that I was there with her through the night, providing any and all comfort I could.
Over time you will learn to identify your baby’s cries and what they want/need. Remember to follow your instincts, no one knows your baby better than you.