This post is inspired by my son’s “mi-mi” (aka grandma), and his dad (as I’m sitting here typing this he’s suggesting he’s hungry, but just had a 4 oz bottle). Yesterday, I reluctantly left the newborn prince with his mi-mi for the first time, while I attended a Labor Day barbecue. Now the last baby she dealt with is now 30 years old, her daughter.
An angry Alexander (Zander)!
I say I left him reluctantly, for my baby boy is a divo (made up male version of diva). At just 2 weeks, he has his preferences, likes and dislikes, and to date, I’m the only one who actually knows what they are (pats self on back). So a couple hours into the family event, I sent my SO home to relieve his mom, for I knew she was in over her head. Then about another hour or so I called to check on him to see if he was hungry and guess who I hear in the background SCREAMING!! MY ZANDER! I rush home to nurse and RESUCE my baby boy.
However in hindsight, I know now to leave this list for all those taking care of my baby:
Why babies cry!
1. Hunger- This is the obvious that everyone nails. However, it’s usually the only thing people think of, when caring for babies. Please Please Please pay attention to your baby’s “cues” to determine if hunger is the culprit, or you need to move on. If baby is rooting, sucking, thrusting tongue, or putting hands to mouth, he is probably hungry. If he is turning his head, content when you brush his cheek with your finger, or spitting the bottle/breast out, WELP, not hungry.
2. Wet/Dirty Diaper- Some babies could care less if they are rocking a soiled diaper, and then you have my Divo son who cares very deeply if his diaper is a mess, so much so he won’t even nurse, sit, or lay down until he has a clean diaper on.
3. Bored- Yes, babies do get bored, and want to be entertained. They want you to give them eye to eye contact and engage in conversation with them. Pick up a book and read to them. Sing them a song. Play with them with some age appropriate toys. Just because they are a baby does not mean they do not want companionship.
4. Tired- Many babies will get fussy and cranky if they are sleepy, and need your assistance getting them comfortable. Try swaddling, soft blanks, skin-to-skin, singing, rocking, holding next to mommy’s heart.
5. Cold/Hot- As the parent, you will have to pay attention to your baby to see how he/she responds to different temperatures. For this can greatly affect a baby, thus making him or her cry. Just because mom or dad likes to be smothered in blankets or freezing like the Antarctic, does not necessarily mean the same for baby. Check feet, nose, and hands to see if they are chilly, and check hair and skin for warmth and sweating, and adjust accordingly.
6. Mom- Unfortunately, sometimes MOM, is the end all for a fussy baby. Dad and family members have to realize that for a newborn, MOM is all baby is familiar with in this new place called earth. Sometimes the bullet has to be bitten and let mom do her “thang” and calm her baby down, like no one else can.
7. Held- Please don’t worry about spoiling your baby. It has been proving that babies are not capable of being spoiled until they have developed a sense of cause and effect which does not happen until around age 4-6 months. The little bundle of joy was just balled up in your tummy for 9 months, and the comfort and security of your touch, smell, voice, heartbeat, tummy growling is calming and settling. Enjoy these bonding moments and give your baby the trust he or she needs with touch.
8. Pain- This is funny, for when mi-mi was on the phone with pop-pop with Zander in the back SCREAMING, he kept saying, “is something pinching him?” While mi-mi was irritated at such a suggestions, pain could be a likely culprit. Sometimes the baby may be sitting on something like a strap from a chair, a pacifier, or even in pain from sickness.
9. Formula- Sometimes (I have experienced this) the type of formula your baby is on can greatly affect his/her mood. Many formulas give babies, gas, constipation, reflux all which will DEFINITELY make a baby cry! This is why I now breastfeed my children; I have not had an abdominal problem since. However, if you bottle-feed, try gripe water, gas drops, rubbing baby tummy, or simply changing the formula.
10. Colic- This is a situation where some babies cry for no real know reason, for hours at a time, with peaks in the evening. This can be very stressful on the parent and baby. If nothing you do seems to help settle your baby, take him/her to the pediatrician to rule out illness or colic to help you better know how to deal with your baby.
I hope this helps, if you have any questions please leave a comment!