When Your Baby Won’t Stop Crying

When Your Baby Won’t Stop Crying

Nothing stirs the emotions or rivets the attention of adults more than the birth of a child. By their very coming into existence, infants forever alter the sleeping, eating, and working habits of their parents; they change who parents are and how parents define themselves.

Infants unthinkingly keep parents up late into the night or cause them to abandon late nights to accommodate early waking; they unknowingly require parents to give up a rewarding career to care for them or to take a second job to support them; they unwittingly lead parents to make new friends of others in similar situations and sometimes cause parents to abandon or lose old friends who are not parents.

Yes, parents may even take for themselves the names that infants uncannily bestow. Parenting an infant is one of the most difficult job, whether by the parent herself or himself or by a surrogate caregiver who is on call. That is because the human infant is totally dependent on parents for survival.

One of the biggest things that parents have difficulties is the baby’s crying. Sometimes they do not understand why their baby cries. How to do? First of all be patient and try to understand why your baby cry.

Some tips how to understand why the baby cries

The first sign that parents received that your newborn had arrived was a cry. No matter whether it was a full-throated wail, a gentle bleator a series of urgent screams — it was a joy to hear, and you welcomed it with open ears.

Now, days or weeks (or months) later, you’re reaching for the earplugs. Will your baby ever stop crying?

Parents-to-be expect that their baby will fuss and cry, but nothing prepares you for what seems like endless, inconsolable wailing. Let’s dive into what your infant’s shrieks and squalls mean — and how to lessen them so everyone can enjoy some much-deserved peace.

It’s tough when your baby won’t stop crying. You may worry that something is wrong with your child, that you’ll lose your cool, that your parenting skills aren’t up to the job, or that you’ll never connect with your baby. But you can handle it!

Babies cry for many reasons, and crying is the main way babies communicate. It’s the way they capture your attention and express their needs. At first, it may be difficult to interpret your baby’s different cries, but as you spend more time listening, you will become better at recognizing and meeting your child’s specific needs.

Common reasons babies cry:

  • Sleepiness or fatigue
  • Wet or dirty diaper
  • Hunger
  • Overstimulation from noise or activity
  • Colic, acid reflux, or food allergies
  • Pain or illness
  • Gas
  • Stranger anxiety or fear
  • Is your baby unresponsive or indifferent?

Most babies use crying to communicate and they will continue to cry or show that they are upset until a parent or caregiver responds to their needs. Other babies, instead of crying, become upset and then tune out and fail to show any emotion. If you think about it, you probably know more than one adult who acts this way when faced with difficulty. An unresponsive baby might seem like an easy baby, because they may be quiet and agreeable. But a baby that doesn’t respond to you, the environment, and sensory influences needs help. Call your pediatrician right away.

Keep in mind:

  • • a crying baby is not a bad baby, but a baby with a problem.
  • • a crying baby doesn’t mean you are doing something wrong.
  • DO NOT try to care for baby when you are angry:
  • – put baby down in a safe place.
  • – call someone to come and help you right away.
  • • try to calm down.
  • • it is very important NOT to shake baby when you are upset, instead:
  • – ask family members and/or friends to help you care for baby during baby’s crying or screaming spell or when you need some sleep or a break.
  • • you cannot spoil baby.

It is very important to know, never, ever shake your baby

Shaking baby can lead to: bad neck injuries, brain damage, numbness and weakness of the legs and arms, mental retardation, seizures, blindness, death.

Shaking leads to injury because baby’s: neck muscles are weak, head is large and heavy compared to the rest of the body, brain moves back and forth causing the blood vessels to break.

Shaking that leads to injury includes: mild shaking over a period of time, a few severe shakes, swinging baby or the small child without holding the head, throwing baby or a young child into the air and then catching them.

Protect baby from brain injury never shake baby, tell everyone who cares for baby about the dangers of shaking a baby, put baby down in a safe place and call someone to help with baby when you feel so tired and/or cross that you fear you might shake or hurt baby, head injury due to shaking baby: a. is a form of child abuse, an lead to serious lifelong injuries or death.

when baby cries

Keep your home safe for baby & child

Some safety rules

Never leave baby alone on high places: such as a bed, change table, sofa, even when in a car seat, they could be knocked off or baby can rock themselves off the edge.

Pay attention to your baby’s signals

The whole world comes to your baby through their senses, and every baby has different sensory needs, which is why one baby might love to be held and another doesn’t; or one baby will cry because of a wet diaper and another will ignore it and continue to play happily.

Get to know your baby’s preferences by engaging all of your senses as you try to figure out what your baby needs. Try being especially attentive to:

Changes in mood: Do your baby’s mood changes seem to coincide with environment changes, the time of day, or in relation to food or naps? For example, if your baby is cranky in the late morning, watch to see if they are sending signals that you’re missing—like an isolated yawn or eye rubbing.

Reactions to different situations and environments: Babies often send signals that we as adults just don’t notice. Your baby might get overstimulated if too many people are around or become especially upset about schedule changes.

Differences in your baby’s cries: At first all cries will sound the same, but, gradually, you will hear how the “I’m hungry” cry is very different from the “I’m tired” cry. Notice noise level, pitch and intensity of the cry, as well as your baby’s body language and facial expressions. An arched back, a scrunched-up face, eyes tightly closed to shut out the light, fists curled up, rubbing eyes, hyperactive or frenetic movement—all of these signs communicate something specific about your baby’s emotional and physical state.

How to relieve your baby’s crying

Here are the things to try if you have an inconsolable little one:

Feed your baby

You’ll want to be a little preemptive with this one. When your baby started wailing, this is probably the first thing you did, but it may not have gotten the results you expected. Offering the breast or bottle after crying escalates sometimes results in frantic and disorganized sucking.

“If a newborn gets to the point that she’s crying because she’s hungry, you’re already late,” says Hill.

Look for clues that you’re little one’s beginning to get hungry: One sign is when they suck on their hands or vigorously root around for the nipple. To prevent inconsolable crying — and the agitated, often unsuccessful, feeding that follows — offer the breast or bottle while they’re still calm.

crying baby

Identify your baby’s cries

Generally, a sudden, long, high-pitched shriek means pain, while a short, low-pitched cry that rises and falls indicates hunger. But to say a particular cry means one thing for all babies isn’t possible.

Crying is individual from baby to baby, and has much to do with temperament. If your first child was super chill, and this newborn is, well, not so much, you may wonder if there’s something wrong with them.

There’s probably nothing wrong, says Hill. Some babies just have a more sensitive temperament and, therefore, are more dramatic in their crying.

If you observe and listen to your infant every day, you’ll start to distinguish the different sounds of their cries. If your baby screams when they’re hungry, listen to that cry and how it’s different from the others.

It helps to imagine you’re learning a foreign language. (Trust us.) If you really pay attention to those cries, over time, you and your baby will develop your own vocabulary.

Further reading

Rohner, R. (1985). The warmth dimension. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

Rondal, J. A. (1980). Fathers’ and mothers’ speech in early language development. Journal of Child Language, 7, 353–369.

Rousseau, J. J. (1762). Emile. New York: Barron’s Educational Series.

Rubenstein, J., and Howes, C. (1976). The effects of peers on toddler interaction with mother and toys. Child Development,

47, 597–605.

Rubin, J., Provenzano, F., and Luria, Z. (1974). The eye of the beholder: Parents’ view of sex of newborns. American Journal

of Orthopsychiatry, 43, 720–731.

Russell, G. (1983). The changing role of fathers? St. Lucia, Queensland, Australia: University of Queensland Press.

Russell, G., and Russell, A. (1987). Mother–child and father–child relationships in middle childhood. Child Development,

58, 1573–1585.

Rutter, M., and the English and Romanian Adoptees Study Team (1998). Developmental catch-up and delay, following

adoption after severe global early privation. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 39, 465–476.

Sameroff, A. J. (1983). Developmental systems: Contexts and evolution. In P. H. Mussen (Series Ed.), W. Kessen (Vol. Ed.),

Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 1. History, theory, and methods (3rd ed., pp. 237–294). New York: Wiley.

Sameroff, A. J., and Feil, L. A. (1985). Parental concepts of development. In I. E. Sigel (Ed.), Parental belief systems

Scroll to Top