To say that crying is a big challenge to early parenting is an understatement, especially when it is 3 AM, you haven't gotten any sleep, and your baby is still crying!
With crying, there are no firm rules as to what causes it and what you can do to get your baby to stop. As you get to know your baby, you will get better at knowing what causes your baby to cry and what will get him to stop. Soon you will be able to tell hungry cries from boredom cries, hurt cries from angry cries. And then of course there are times when your baby will cry seemingly for no reason at all.
When your baby cries, check the obvious causes such as hunger, discomfort, over-stimulation, and boredom.
HUNGER: If it is possible that your baby is hungry, try feeding first.
DISCOMFORT: Your baby may be bothered by something.
OVER-STIMULATION: Over-stimulation from playing and handling can often cause overtiredness, which will result in crying.
BOREDOM: Crying can also mean that your baby wants a change in scenery or activity.
RELAX! As you will notice, your baby can tell when you are tense and will often also get tense and cry. Quiet music, gentle rocking, soft singing, or talking often help, as does a warm bath or a gentle massage.
Colic is a term used to describe a baby who cries daily for several hours at a time, usually at the same time each day. There is no known cause and no sure cure for colic other than time. Almost all babies outgrow colic by 3 to 4 months of age.
If your baby won't stop crying, you may want to try the following ideas to help calm your baby.
NEVER hurt your baby. Ask a spouse, friend, neighbor, or relative to give you a break when you need it. If your baby has been crying and you are getting so angry that you are afraid you might hurt your baby, call your healthcare provider or an emergency room and talk about the problem.