What to Do If Your Baby Won't Stop Crying

Home and Family Parenting



Parenting can be a daunting task that takes time and wisdom. Unfortunately, there are very few people who enter into this noble role with either training or extensive experience. Because babies cannot talk, one of the ways that they use to communicate with others is by crying.

I remember when, as a young woman, I gave birth to my first child. We were living in the basement suite of an older couple who kind of took us under their wings. Mae, the experienced grandmother, told me "Babies will be happy if you keep their tummy full and their bottoms dry:. What wonderful advice! She was right.

Babies have different types of cries and it won't take long until you will be able to differentiate each of them and determine how to solve the problem:

1. Hungry - The little tummy of a newborn is very small and therefore feedings need to occur frequently. A hungry child can get quite worked up when hunger hits. The simple solution for this is to bring on dinner!

2. Wet or Dirty - If you are diligent about changing the diaper frequently the baby will not like it when dirty or wet occur. Crying can be a way to alert you that help is needed. Once the bottom is cleaned and dried, the smiles should return.

3. Anger - Usually when a baby is upset with you or the environment, even the body language is different. Fists can wave and the red face will likely scrunch up. Be careful about this one. Sometimes an angry cry can be manipulative and under the surface means "Pick me up and pay attention".

4. Pain - You will know immediately when your child is crying because of pain. Check for things such as a sharp object that is pinching the skin, a naughty sibling or even an animal that has been curious but inappropriate. Removing the cause of the pain and a little snuggle will usually correct things, however, if there is broken skin or definite signs of injury, you will need to quickly get the child to the doctor.

5. Illness - Sometimes you just can't see what is going on that is causing all the trouble. A sour stomach, teething episode or other physical ailment needs to be diagnosed and treated by a physician. Make sure that you take your baby to a doctor as soon as possible as babies tend to dehydrate very quickly and this will jeopardize their health even further.

There are three things that you really need to assess when it comes to a crying baby - the type of cry, the duration of the upset and whether doing the obvious is effective or not. If not, you are off to the doctor's!


Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email office@drlindahancock.com


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