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Why is my newborn crying?

Trying to stop baby crying isn’t an exact science, there’s loads of different ways. Here’s a few of the most popular:
    2-minutes read

    At a glance

    Eat, sleep, poo, repeat. Newborns don’t do much else. Except cry, of course. And that’s often because they need you to help with one of the first three.

    A newborn’s tummy is super tiny – think small marble. So they need refilling every two hours or so. It’s a very common reason for crying.


    Hang in there. It’s normal for newborns to cry for several hours a day. Once they’re used to the world and you, they’ll be happier and smilier.

    Over 50% of babies suffer from some form of tummy trouble. Tummy massage can be really effective – and helps bonding too.

    Why is my newborn crying?

    Newborns cry. A lot. And who can blame them? This brand-new world is a far cry from the ‘womb service’ they’re used to. Now baby needs to tell you what they want. And the only way they know how is to holler. Luckily, by eight weeks, the crying tends to tail off. The most frustrating and potentially upsetting thing in the first few weeks of baby arriving is not knowing how to help them when they’re crying. Here are a few tips on how to understand what your baby is trying to tell you.

    • I’m hungry

      He might suck his fists, lick his lips, or root around for a breast – even on dad or granny. The final resort is to howl for his lunch. Watch our videos to see if you recognise any of the signs.

    • I’m ready for bed

      It’s very common for newborns to get over-tired. They need to sleep every 1-3 hours, roughly speaking. Before this, crying, staring into space, pulling at ears and closing fists are all signs they need some quiet time.

    • My tummy hurts

      If baby cries after a feed it could simply be wind. Nothing a burp (or bottom burp) couldn’t solve. Try a back rub or tummy massage and, if that fails, maybe colic, acid reflux or lactose intolerance could be the culprits - always check with your GP or healthcare professional if you believe that any of these could be the reason, or if you are considering changing milk.

    • It’s all too much for me

      In our efforts to soothe them we can sometimes overwhelm baby with enthusiastic rattling and cooing. If he rubs his eyes or turns away, a bit of quiet time and a cuddle in a dimmed room could be all he needs.

    • I’m too hot or cold

      As a general rule babies need to wear one more layer of clothing than we do and be in a room between 16C-20C degrees. Don’t be fooled by cold hands, just feel the back of his neck or his tummy to judge his body temperature.

    • My nappy is full

      New babies need their nappy changed up to a dozen times a day. It’s one of the top reasons for babies crying – always worth making it one of your first checks.


    How to stop baby crying

    Looking after a newborn is no walk in the park but fresh air is the very thing that often helps soothe a tired or irritated baby. You’ll probably appreciate it too.

    Some say monotonous motion or rhythmic sounds :

    • help to soothe because they remind baby of being in the womb.
    • Try gently rocking to the sound of your shushing. Even a vacuum cleaner or washing machine could work. White noise apps are a handy thing these days too.

    A warm bath:

    • can do wonders to soothe a baby. If yours is a water baby, you may literally hear them sigh with contentment as they’re lowered into the womb-like warmth of a bath.
    • Babies often wriggle around at night with tummy aches as they try and digest their day’s intake – a gentle tummy massage before bed could aid wriggle reduction.

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