What your baby’s trying to tell you

I'm hungry. Most newborns eat every few hours around the clock. Some babies become frantic when hunger strikes. They may get so worked up by the time the feeding begins that they gulp air with the milk, which may cause spitting up, trapped gas or more crying. To avoid such frenzy, respond to early signs of hunger. If your baby begins to gulp during the feeding, take a break.

I have wind. During and after each feeding, take time to burp your baby. But don’t get obsessed, sometimes your baby won’t need to burp.

I have a dirty nappy. For some babies, a wet or soiled nappy is a surefire way to trigger tears. Gas or indigestion may have the same effect. Check your baby's nappy often to make sure it's clean and dry.

I'm tired. Tired babies are often fussy. Make sure your baby is getting enough sleep.

I'd rather be bundled. Some babies feel most secure swaddled. Snugly wrap your baby in a receiving blanket or other small, lightweight blanket.

I want to move. Sometimes a rocking session or walk through the house is enough to soothe a crying baby. In other cases, a change of position is all that's needed.

I'm lonely. Sometimes simply seeing you, hearing your voice or being cuddled may stop the tears. Gentle massage or light pats on the back may work, too.

I'm hot.
A baby who's too hot or cold is likely to be uncomfortable. Add or remove a layer of your baby's clothing as needed.

I want to suck on something. Sucking is a natural reflex. For many babies, it's a comforting, soothing activity. If your baby isn't hungry, try a clean dummy.

I've had enough. Too much noise, movement or visual stimulation may drive your baby to tears. Move to a calmer environment or place your baby in his cot. White noise — such as a recording of ocean waves or the monotonous sound of an electric fan or vacuum cleaner — may help your baby relax.

It's just that time of day. Many babies have predictable periods of fussiness during the day. There may be little you can do but comfort your baby as the crying runs its course.

My tummy hurts. If you're breast-feeding your baby, he or she may be less happy than usual after you eat spicy or gas-producing foods. Too much caffeine may be an issue as well. If you suspect a certain food is causing trouble, avoid it for several days to see if it makes a difference.

Do you know your baby? Can you decipher his cries?

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