Newborn - Crying
What are the crying patterns of a newborn?The first cries of a newborn baby are often music to the ears of parents. However, over the next weeks and months this "music" can become grating and painful. This is especially true when all attempts fail to stop the crying.
Surprisingly, crying does not produce tears until after the first month or two. Crying is the way babies communicate. They cry because of hunger, discomfort, frustration, fatigue, and even loneliness. Sometimes, cries can easily be answered with food, or a diaper change. Other times, it can be a mystery and crying stops as quickly as it begins.
You will soon learn differences in cries, from a cry of "I'm hungry" to "I've been overstimulated." It is important to respond to your baby's cries. Contrary to old wives' tales, young babies cannot be spoiled by being picked up when crying. Being held is reassuring and comforting when a baby cannot express him/herself any other way.
Some techniques to help console a crying baby include the following:
- Take care of physical problems first - hunger, diaper change, need to burp.
- Walk with baby in a sling or in a stroller.
- Rock your baby in a rhythmic, gentle motion.
- Try a baby swing or rocking cradle.
- Gently pat or stroke on the back or chest.
- Try swaddling the baby.
- Go for a ride in the car.
- Turn on some white noise (such as a washing machine or vacuum cleaner).
The information on this Web page is provided for educational purposes. You understand and agree that this information is not intended to be, and should not be used as, a substitute for medical treatment by a health care professional. You agree that Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital is not making a diagnosis of your condition or a recommendation about the course of treatment for your particular circumstances through the use of this Web page. You agree to be solely responsible for your use of this Web page and the information contained on this page. Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital, its officers, directors, employees, agents, and information providers shall not be liable for any damages you may suffer or cause through your use of this page even if advised of the possibility of such damages.