Crying Infant: When It’s OK and When It’s Not

Crying Infant: When It’s OK and When It’s Not

You just finished feeding the baby, changed her diaper and laid her back down to sleep. It’s time to get busy catching up on the laundry and planning out dinner. You hear a little fussing and within a few minutes, she is crying uncontrollably in her crib. What’s wrong? She’s fed, clean, on her tummy where she feels safe. You don’t know what else to do. This happens every day before she takes her nap and it is heart-wrenching to hear her cry like that.


Don’t worry mama! More than likely she has gas and is letting everyone know it. Check on her to see if she is safe, nothing is hurting her and she doesn’t have a messy diaper. Now that you know she is fine, leave her be to work it out.


Stay close if you want, but don’t pick her up. She will learn quickly that if she cries, she will get her way!


Every baby has different thresholds for pain and pleasure. Therefore, one baby may cry more than another. What you need find out is if there is a pattern to the crying. If so, then that would be considered normal.


For instance, if the baby cries every day for an hour or two after her 2 PM feeding and then falls asleep, it is her pattern of normal crying behavior. She probably has gas and once she expels it by wiggling and crying, she will fall sound asleep- content and happy.


If you pick her up and give her more milk, you will just make her stomach hurt worse and your schedule that you have worked hard to establish will be no more.


When Crying Is Normal

  • baby cannot sleep all the time
  • 3-4 hours of crying out of 24 is a normal part of development & strengthens the lungs
  • develops a pattern to the crying
  • gas, swallows air when crying, more gas (baby will eventually pass it)


When Crying is NOT Normal

  • no consistency in the schedule
  • allergy to milk
  • uncomfortable
    • lotions/oils  (skin can’t breathe & can make baby feel chilled)
    • too hot/cold
    • uncomfortable clothing
  • unhealthy gestation period
    • mom smoked/baby breathes smoke in the home
    • mom drank
    • mom took drugs
  • messy diaper
  • fever/stuffy nose/ear infection


These reasons will not have a pattern to them. So, once you have ruled out these reasons for baby’s crying, try noticing a pattern over a few days. Before long, you will be able to predict her crying behavior if it is normal development.


Baby will most likely cry while adjusting to the schedule but will settle into the routine in just a few days.


Mama may be tired at night and produce less milk if nursing. So, if she still seems hungry after the 10 PM feeding or isn’t making it through the night, try supplementing with a little formula  – (1 oz of formula in 2 oz of water.) If she drinks all of that, try increasing it by half an ounce each night until she leaves a little in the bottle.


As a mommy, we want to cuddle our babies and don’t want to see them upset. But knowing that you don’t have to pick the baby up every time she cries is such a relief. Your baby will become well adjusted and learn to soothe herself to sleep quickly.


Here is more info about letting your baby cry from Harvard. Check it out.


If you have any questions or comments, leave them below!






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