9 Reasons Newborns Cry and How to Stop It

9 reasons newborn babies cry. Read about these common reasons for crying and what you can do about it to help your newborn stop crying. 

Crying newborn baby

A crying baby can be a little paralyzing. You want to do what you can to stop your little one from crying, but you are not sure exactly why the baby is crying so you aren’t sure how to help calm baby down. 

Reasons Newborn Babies Cry

In The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems, Tracy Hogg lists several factors to consider when your 0-6 week old baby starts to cry (page 24). She points out that if baby is on a routine, it is much easier to determine the reason for the crying because activities happen in a particular pattern. Here are some possible reasons to consider from Hogg and from me:

Hunger: Is it close to time for a feeding? If so, there is a good chance baby is crying out of hunger. Keep in mind that growth spurts happen often during his period.

Read: Growth Spurts

You always want to feed a hungry baby. If baby is hungry and it seems like baby should not be hungry, you feed first and troubleshoot later. 

Discomfort: Does your baby have a dirty diaper? Most babies in this age range tend to soil their diaper during or soon after a feeding. Your baby could be crying from being bothered by the dirty diaper. 

Boredom: Has your baby been sitting in the same place or position for too long? While babies in this age range can become easily overstimulated, that doesn’t mean they want to sit in one spot for their entire playtime. Your baby could be crying because she needs a change of scenery. See my favorite baby toys for this age range here. 

Overtired: If your newborn baby has been awake for a total of 30 minutes or more (including feeding time), she might be crying because she is ready for a nap. You really want to work to get that waketime length down correctly. Putting baby to bed too late will lead to baby crying, whether that be before you start nap time or after. Read my post on Optimal Waketime Length to figure things out. 

9 common reasons newborns cry and picture of a newborn baby

Overstimulated: If baby has had a lot of visitors or if she has been watching her older brother jump around the room, she might be overstimulated. An overstimulated baby will cry. This is common when the schedule is thrown off at all or if you are out and about with baby. 

This doesn’t mean you can’t ever go out with your baby. This is just a really good clue if your baby is crying and has had a lot of stimulation.

To calm an overstimulated baby, you want to remove baby from the action. Read more on how to calm an overstimulated baby here. 

Gas: If she is making faces and pulling her legs up, she might have gas. Gas can cause a lot of pain and lead to a crying baby. If your baby is crying from gas pain, you will want to help soothe it. Read up on how to help a baby with gas pain here. 

Reflux: If she is crying and/or spitting up a lot after feeds, she might have reflux. Reflux is uncomfortable for baby and it is common for a reflux baby to cry. If baby arches her back a lot and seems uncomfortable, talk to her doctor to see if it might be reflux. 

Read: Signs Your Fussy Baby Might Have MSPI

Body Temperature: She might be hot or cold. Either the room could be too hot or cold, or she could be under or overdressed. If your baby is crying, consider if she is overdressed or if the room temperature is good or not. Read up on how to dress baby for sleeping here. 

Witching Hour: Witching hour is a time when baby just cries. There isn’t anything wrong; it is just a rough time of day. Read about Witching Hour here. 

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Pin image with text and a newborn baby cyring