Tiny Tears

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There are very few noises on earth that can shatter the nerves of new parents than a crying newborn—especially of brand-new parents. The problem is this: simply, crying newborns are part of the package deal, some of the worst parents must endure in order to get the very best. However, there is no reason to despair. Following are some ideas and insights to dealing with a crying newborn.
First off, make sure all the basics are taken care of. Crying is the only way a newborn has to communicate, so chances are your crying newborn is trying to tell you something. He or she may be hungry, so they are demanding food, or they've just eating and desperately need to burp to relieve stomach pressure. Next, it could be a simple wet and smelly diaper—who wants to sit or lie in that? Perhaps your newborn is tired—which may seem contradictory, because a lot of crying comes when you're trying to put them to sleep! Crying for sleep is caused by being overtired or over stimulated, however, so keeping that in mind does make it a bit more understandable.

While these are the most obvious issues, there are also others. Your newborn may need to be swaddled, made to feel safe and completely and tightly covered (this simulates the environment of the womb, the world they are most accustomed to). Or it may be just the opposite: baby may desperately want to move; flailing their arms and legs is the way babies begin to control motor movements and learn basic physical skills. Perhaps the newborn's temperature is uncomfortable: is the baby too cold, or more often (especially in new parents, who tend to over-dress), too hot? Finally, perhaps they just want to suck on something. This can be difficult for some parents as they may have vowed to never use a pacifier or allow finger/thumb-sucking, but the reality is, for babies sucking is soothing, comforting, familiar. There is plenty of time to break this habit down the road.
Finally, your newborn may be ill. Don't panic: it may just be a simple tummy ache. Make sure you always use formula and/or newborn foods that you know don't bother your baby's stomach—changing around can cause tummy problems. In the worst case scenario, baby may have a genuine illness, like an ear infection or pneumonia. Again, stay calm and look for signs: is the baby running a temperature over 102 degrees? Does he or she seem to be grasping at their ears? Are they vomiting or producing many more and/or diarrhea looking stools? If any of these are present, contact your pediatrician immediately.

Crying is absolutely no fun. But it can be stopped and it will definitely not be a part of life with baby forever!


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