Why is my baby crying?
Crying to meet physical needs
Babies first form of communication is crying.
When they are hungry – they cry
When they are in pain – they cry
When they are cold / hot – they cry.
We’ve all been there at 3.37am and have fed, changed and tried to soothe your baby by doing what we penned ‘the chicken dance’ bouncing and swaying, up and down the lounge til 6am when it’s seems silly to go back to bed as you’ll be up in an hour anyway!
So let’s look at what ‘could’ be making your baby cry. We’ve fed, changed and winded her.
The room is just the right temp and she has the correct amount of layers on.
Have you been somewhere different today?
Have there been many visitors ?
Has the feeding schedule been altered?
Have you been particularly stressed or down?
Babies feel safe when they are in a routine and the expected happens.
Any change to their routine can impact greatly on their sleep pattern. Think careful about what has changed in the last few days.
Was there trauma at birth?
Babies do retain some memory of being born, they are like sponges when it comes to reading the atmosphere. They can also remember procedures they have had done too.
Just as you and I feel so much better after a good cry, so do babies.
In the build up to a cry, cortisol is produced rapidly by the adrenal glands and triggers the Fight or flight reflex.
Heart rate increases, and all the blood is pumped out to the extremities of the body, resulting in a baby that’s back is arched and literally screaming at the top of their lungs!
Once this has reached its peak, the tears start to flow. Cortisol has been found in the tears of a newborn.
All types of tears look different under a microscope. Take a look here..
So not only is crying a form of attention seeking for a physical reason, it also plays a part in releasing the stress hormone Cortisol.
Cortisol is counteracted by Oxytocin, the bonding hormone. Oxytocin is released through several triggers.
Sex with a loving partner.
We can forgot about the latter in this discussion.
When our oxytocin levels rise, our heart rate and temperature normalise and we begin to feel calmer and more relaxed.
How do we encourage a rise in the oxytocin levels ?
Holding your baby securely.
Patting tummy or back
Rubbing tummy or back
Singing or chatting to your baby
White noise (I’ve heard of one mum putting on her shower to soothe her baby and one who used a hairdryer).
Always check physical needs are met then think about the emotional needs. Your baby is a little person with feelings and memories.
“Criers who received social support during their crying episode were more likely to report mood benefits than were criers who did not report receiving social support. Likewise, mood benefits were more likely when the precipitating events of a crying episode had been resolved than they were when the events were unresolved.”
“Bylsma explains that one theory of crying is that it helps the body to return to a state of homeostasis after being overly aroused — whether positively or negatively. Right after that peak in arousal, whether it’s immediately after winning an Olympic gold medal or walking down the aisle at a wedding, tears might help bring a person back to a baseline level of functioning.”
Read the full article here:-
Call your doctor if
• A baby’s excessive crying remains unexplained and doesn’t go away in 1 day, despite attempts at home treatment
• The baby has other symptoms, such as fever, along with the excessive crying