Tips to Find Out Why Babies Cry and How to Stop Their Tears

Babies communicate by crying, but parents may not grasp the message

Close-up of a crying baby.
Close-up of a crying baby. Dimitri Otis/Getty Images

Parents and caregivers often grow frustrated when babies cry, and they can't figure out the reason or how to stop more tears from flowing. When babies have been fed and burped, why else might they cry? The list below sheds light on common causes for infant wailing and how to curb their cries.

Babies Cry When They're Hot

New parents, doting grandparents or overzealous babysitters sometimes overdress a baby while inside or during a stroll outdoors.

While no one wants a baby to get too cold, it's a mistake to overdress an infant. Babies don't need to wear long sleeves and pants, socks, shoes, hats or a blanket, unless the temperature is truly chilly. Dressing babies in layers will help parents avoid overheating them. Parents and caregivers can gauge a baby's body temperature by feeling his stomach or back and then adding or removing clothes appropriately.

Overstimulated Babies Turn on the Waterworks

Too much commotion, movement, light or sound can totally stress out a small baby to the point of an "infant meltdown." While you should involve babies in everyday routines, watch how they cope during chaotic situations. If the baby has reached the breaking point, calm the baby by relocating to a quiet place with fewer distractions. Well-meaning parents often overstimulate their youngster with too many selections of toys or educational activities.

You can avoid this by introducing one activity or toy at a time, and then watching the baby's reaction.

Uncomfortable Infants Shed Tears

Car seats, strollers and baby carriers may be designed for babies, but infants often tire of remaining in a certain position, having their clothes bunch up or being strapped in too tightly.

Babies may also dislike tags or labels on clothing or clothing materials that irritate delicate skin.

Babies Wail to Get Attention

Babies crave attention, and most are social creatures. As babies become aware that they are a separate small human being, they may insist on being around their beloved caregivers. Since they can't call out their loved ones by name, they cry. Family members can show babies that just because they've left the room doesn't mean they've gone away. Offer plenty of love and reassurance and consider placing babies where they can observe your actions and know that you are nearby.

Babies Cry When Bored

As your baby grows, she will quickly become more curious about her world and want to experience as many things as possible. That's why so many babies are content just to be carried around from room to room while a caregiver does different activities. But since carrying your child everywhere isn't always an option (nor should it be), keep in mind that babies have short attention spans and may want new stimulation and things to see frequently.

So, you might avoid wails by rotating where a baby is situated in the house.

Exhausted Infants Spill Tears

Babies need sleep. Lots and lots of sleep. So, if you're a parent or caregiver on the go and traipsing a wee one with you on all sorts of errands, chances are that he will begin to let you know about it. Babies can sleep in many conditions, but sometimes a quiet sleep in their own bed does wonders for their mood.

Colicky Babies Weep

If your baby continues to cry after being assessed for the reasons above, it's possible the infant has the dreaded colic. Visit a healthcare professional or research the condition to find the best way to care for colicky babies.

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