Your newborn needs to eat every few hours because her stomach is so tiny. Most babies cry at night because they are hungry.
Check the clock, and if it’s been two or three hours since the last feeding, your baby is probably waking up to tell you she needs to be fed.
If your baby cries at night from hunger for some time, she may work herself into a frenzy and find it difficult to calm down when nourishment arrives. When a baby is frantic to eat, sometimes she then gulps air with the milk, causing gas. This can create a cycle of discomfort that makes your baby fuss and cry instead of settling back into sleep once her hunger has been satisfied.
Feed your baby before she becomes frantically hungry. Crying is actually a late sign of hunger, after things like smacking lips or sucking on fist. Taking a break to burp her during a feeding, as well as after, can also help. If you’re formula-feeding your baby, talk to your doctor about changing to a different type. Enfamil® Gentlease® is designed to ease fussiness, gas, and crying in 24 hours, while providing nutrition for healthy development. It has easy-to-digest proteins for sensitive tummies and is often recommended for gassy and fussy babies.
Although the stomach is your newborn’s main alarm clock right now, other things can cause baby crying at night. Check for:
- A diaper that needs changing
- A finger tangled uncomfortably in a swaddle
- A room that’s grown too hot or too cold
- Any signs of sickness (A baby who has a cold or ear infection more often than usual.)
Especially if you’ve just fed your baby and she’s still fussy, check out these other possibilities to learn how to stop a crying baby. A quick diaper change before feedings can make her feel calmer while eating. If you suspect sickness, check her temperature; a rectal temperature over 100.4°F (38°C) warrants a call to your pediatrician.
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Unexplained Baby Crying at Night
Still can’t seem to find a cause for baby crying at night? Research suggests that up to 40 percent of all infants have colic—bouts of unexplained crying, fussiness, and sometimes gassiness for up to several hours a day, including evenings. Experts believe the crying may be related to digestive issues, which babies tend to outgrow in three or four months.
To soothe a baby crying at night, try cuddling, swaddling, and walking with your baby, all of which provide motion and body contact. A white-noise machine or fan in the room can help, too. To make sure there are no underlying digestive issues, share all behaviors with your doctor. Sometimes a simple formula change can help.
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