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Parental Wisdom: A Guide to Identify Why Your Baby is Crying

Parenting / Last Updated on Apr 06, 2023 / Vetted by Dr Jasmin Rajesh, MBBS, MD (Ped.)
A Baby is Crying

While your baby makes steady progress, before she can reach the talking milestone, the only way she can express herself is by crying. There may be different types of cries that your baby has, and each of them is meant to convey something to you. 

Understanding what each of these coos and cries means is a skill you will have to develop with a lot of patience and time. Sometimes your baby may cry just for a while, but on some occasions, you may have experienced continuous crying. Being a mom, it is disturbing and very frustrating to see your baby cry and not be able to understand why she is suffering.  The reason might simply be a wet diaper or feeling hungry, but trust me, with time you will learn just by her crying what she really wants.

Reasons & Solutions For Baby Crying So Much

Previous experiences can come in handy in understanding exactly why your baby is crying. However, for new parents, it is natural to get nervous when you are unable to interpret the cries. Here are a few tips that will help you when the question, "Why is my baby crying?" rings through your mind and what you can do about it.


1. Hunger

Signs: Coupled with a low-pitched, repetitive and rhythmic cry, your baby puts fingers in her mouth, smacks her lips, makes sucking motions with the tongue or turns towards your breasts or a milk bottle. These are typically signs that your baby needs to be fed.

Solution: It is necessary to feed the baby quickly so that she can relax once the stomach is full. 


2. Uncomfortable

Signs: Nasal, continuous, whiny crying should warn you that the baby is not hungry but not comfortable.

Solution: Check for a wet and dirty diapers. Clean the baby and change the wet diaper. This will soothe them.


3. Crying during feeding

Signs: Your baby cries continuously while you are feeding them.

Solution: The baby might be experiencing reflux. Hold the baby straight for a while and massage and pat on the back. Try burping the baby.


4. Tired

Signs: Sometimes your baby gets fussy and tired of everything going around or due to inadequate sleep and starts crying in a whiny, fussy way.  She might turn her head away from loud sounds or bright lights.  

Solution: The answer is to relax her. Take her away from the source of stress. Rock your baby, cuddle her, and try to put the baby to sleep. Try making her sleep on her stomach. Listening to sounds of nature like waves can help relax her. 


5. Boredom

Signs: Your baby is simply bored and coos to seek your attention, which might snowball into bursts of crying and whimpering. It may be a result of disturbed sleep.

Solution: Play with the baby, cuddle them, and walk with the baby. With some courage, you can even sing for the baby. 


6. Colic pain 

Signs: Your baby cries excessively and wails loudly, which, along with a lot of fidgety movements, is a distinctive pattern during a colic spell. Colic pain makes your baby miserable and its spells begin around the same time every day, especially in the evening, often lasting for hours.

Solution: There isn’t much that you can do about the colic spells. They usually end on their own, but you can try laying her on the tummy, running your fingers on the tummy to release the gas, or rubbing her back. Your baby may stop getting it after the first three to four months as she grows.  


7. Sickness

Signs: Sometimes the crying is just soft whimpers or unusually nasal, as if the baby has no energy to cry. Your baby may also have rashes, fever, a congested nose, or diarrhoea

Solution: Don’t worry, babies may get sick sometimes. If it sounds different from her routine cry, go with your instincts and contact the paediatrician in such instances. 

Can you figure out the reason for crying every time?

The answer is no. Sometimes your baby may cry without a reason. At such times, the baby needs assurance and love from you. Hold the baby close to you and comfort the baby. Try to keep the lights low and avoid playing with the baby during snooze time. Every baby's sleeping pattern is different. Try covering them in a blanket or try removing one. Her actions will tell you what gives her comfort.

Most importantly, as a parent, you should stay calm and fit so that you can give undivided attention to your baby. Do not panic and try to comfort your little one. If you are unable to identify why your baby is crying, it is best to consult your paediatrician and seek medical advice.



  1. NHS. Soothing a crying baby [2019]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/soothing-crying-baby/.
  2. Harvard Health Publishing. Crying in infants [2020].  Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/decision_guide/crying-in-infants.
  3. Cleveland Clinic. Pregnancy: Newborn behaviour [2018]. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/9706-pregnancy-newborn-behavior.
  4. CDC. Signs your child is hungry or full. [2019]. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/infantandtoddlernutrition/mealtime/signs-your-child-is-hungry-or-full.html
  5. Kids Health. Sleep and your newborn. [2019] Available at: https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/sleepnewborn.html
  6. Kids Health. What is colic? [2019]. Available at: https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/colic.html.

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