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Why Does My Baby Cry? The Main Reasons Why

It is a fact of life that babies love to cry and the majority of your time is spent trying to work out why. Sometimes you will feel like they are crying just for the sake of it, but in reality, there is pretty much always a reason behind it as this is the main way that they communicate with you. Here are some of the most common reasons why babies cry.

They need a diaper change

One of the most common reasons for your little one’s cries, is that they have a dirty diaper. Some babies are quick to let you know when they need a change whereas others, can tolerate a dirty diaper for a bit longer. Either way, it is simple to check and even easier to remedy.

Your little one needs a nap

When babies get overtired, they can become fussy and restless and find it difficult to get to sleep. You would almost expect babies to just fall asleep whenever they are tired, but some babies do find it more difficult than others. If this is the reason why your little one is crying, try soothing them by using soft voices and hold them close to you. Hopefully this will help send your little one to the land of nod.


One of the most common reasons for a babies fussiness is that they are telling you that they are hungry. Over time, you will learn to recognize the telltale signs that your little one is beginning to get hungry. Some of these signs include smacking their lips, fussing and putting their hands in their mouths.

They may need to burp

Once you have fed your little one, they may become restless and fussy if they are unable to burp. When babies feed, they can sometimes swallow air and this can cause discomfort if it is not released. If you baby finds it difficult to be burped after feeding, try laying them on their tummy to see if this forces the air out.

They just want to be held

It is a fact that babies love to be cuddled, so if your little one is crying, the simple solution may be to have a little bit of cuddle time. Babies like to see their parents faces, hear their heartbeats and just generally be close to you. Whilst you don’t want to spoil your baby by holding them too much, in the first few months of their life, it is important to cuddle them when they need it.

Teething time

If your baby becomes fussier than usual, try rubbing a finger along their gums to see if any teeth have started to come through. On average, a baby will first get a tooth between 4 and 7 months, but this may be earlier. While some babies can handle the pain better than others, this may be a cause of their crying.

They may be in pain

Babies can be very sensitive to pain, such as a scratchy clothing tag or fabric. They could also be troubled by things that are hard to spot, such as a hair wrapped around a finger or toe which is cutting off their circulation. This is a common ailment for babies and something to watch out for.

They may be ill

If the basic needs of your little one have been met and they are still fussy, then it may be that they are poorly. Try checking their temperature for a fever and be alert for any other signs of illness. Trust your instincts and if you feel like something is wrong, then don’t hesitate to contact your paediatrician.

Changes in temperature

Babies can also be sensitive to temperature changes and can become fussy if they become too hot or too cold. Babies prefer to be warm, but not too warm – as a rule, they are most comfortable in one more layer than you would be comfortable in. Whilst they are more likely to cry when they get too cold, they do sometimes cry when they are too warm and taking a layer off will help remedy this.

Tummy issues

Tummy issues, such as colic or gas, can cause your little one to become extremely fussy. If you find that your little one cries after being fed, then it is likely that they have some tummy pain. Most pharmacists sell anti-gas drops or gripe water over the counter, but if you are in doubt ask your paediatrician for a recommendation. Alternatively, if you think that it could be gas, then lay your baby on their back and move their legs in a cycling motion. This should help to relieve the discomfort caused. Colic is a mysterious illness and is characterised by inconsolable crying for at least three hours a day, at least three times a week and at least three weeks in a row. If you suspect it could be colic then seek advice from your paediatrician.

They may need more, or conversely less, stimulation

Babies learn from the stimulation surrounding them, but sometimes this can become overwhelming. If they have a hard time processing their environment then they can become upset and fussy. If they are young enough, then try swaddling your baby to help them get some quiet time and take a step back from their surroundings. If they are a bit older, then try taking them to a quiet spot to calm down a little. On the other hand, if your little one is quite demanding, then they may need more stimulation. Some babies love to stay active and aware of their surroundings, so try putting them in a front facing carrier so that they can see all the activity around them.

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