You heard it a thousand times when you were pregnant: “get your sleep now, because it’ll be hard to come by once that baby comes!” Seasoned mamas told you to prepare for long nights. Maybe your own mother offered to come crash on the couch in the early days to help you get some sleep.
Now that you’re home with your little one, does it seem like you can’t get through a full night without them crying? If so, you’re not alone. Despite their need for 16-18 hours of sleep per day, newborns only ever sleep for 2-4 hours at a time.
Sometimes you try everything and nothing seems to get them to quiet down. If you’re pulling your hair out from frustration, keep reading to learn all the reasons your baby won’t stop crying, and what you can do about it.
We all know how uncomfortable feeling gassy can be. As adults, though, it’s easy to remedy. We pop a Gas-X or sidle into the next room to relieve ourselves.
Babies, not so much. All they know is that something hurts. Their bellies are so small that even tiny amounts of gas can feel uncomfortable for your little one.
Eating too fast or too much, throat or stomach irritation, and even by feeling excited or anxious can all cause gas.
The remedy? You can try changing their diet to exclude foods that cause gas.
You should also be sure your little one is getting enough fiber, as it’s essential for digestion. Learn more about what you can do about a gassy baby to soothe them to sleep!
Most newborns and young infants wake up because they’re hungry, so feeding is usually a mother’s first instinct to calm them.
If it seems like you’re constantly feeding, though, your baby might not be getting enough food. If you’re breastfeeding, set up an appointment with a lactation specialist to test how much your baby is actually digesting.
They’ll weigh your baby before feeding, after, and after the subsequent spit up. Then you’ll know how much is being taken in.
Don’t be afraid to supplement your breastmilk with formula to keep up with their insatiable hunger, either. Formula is perfectly healthy for your baby, and many moms choose to use it exclusively!
Be sure to check with your lactation specialist and obstetrician about how many ounces your baby needs each feeding, too. The chart on the formula container is merely a guide!
They’re Not Sleeping Well
You know how when you wake up super early in the morning, you’re ready to conk out around 8 PM? It makes logical sense, but babies aren’t like that.
The less sleep they get, the harder of a time they have sleeping. That means that if they miss a nap, you’re not setting them up to be super sleepy later. You’re only setting them up to be super cranky later because they’re exhausted but can’t sleep!
It doesn’t make any sense, but that’s how it works.
Like adults, babies have different sleeping preferences, too. Some will prefer to spend the night in your room, while others sleep better on their own. Some babies like white noise, while some can’t sleep if so much as the fan is whirring above them.
It takes a lot of trial error to find out about these preferences. Taking the time to experiment to find the right sleeping conditions for your little one will pay off, though. They’ll sleep better, which means you’ll sleep better!
Potential Food Sensitivities
If it feels like you’ve tried everything and your colicky baby won’t quiet down, there could be something medical that’s making them uncomfortable. Take your little one into the obstetrician to have their stool tested for a milk allergy. That’s the most common food sensitivity babies experience.
If it comes back negative, you’ll need to do some detective work to determine what could be causing the issue. Once your baby starts eating solid food, here are some of the most common baby food allergies:
Your doctor will probably recommend cutting these out of your child’s diet one by one to determine the culprit. Many processed baby foods include gluten proteins that are hard to nail down, though. It’s never a bad idea to keep a garden and make your own solid food for your little one!
They’re Feeling Your Stress
It’s only natural that your wailing little one is going to stress you out. You want them to feel calm and happy, and you want to feel that, too. But did you know that the two of you are literally connected to each other’s needs?
It’s called “mutual regulation.” When your baby cries, your body responds by creating more milk. Your bodies even help regulate each other’s temperature.
This applies to emotion, particularly stress, as well. It’s impossible to tell whether your stress influences the baby so the baby starts crying, or if it’s the other way around– it becomes a chicken and egg scenario.
What you can do, though, is harness the power of this connection by calming down.
Set the baby in their crib and step into the other room to take a few deep breaths. Count to five. Recalibrate your energy to feel more positive and your baby will feel it, too.
It’s not always easy to tell when your baby is uncomfortable. After all, they can’t speak up to tell you that the car seat buckle is pinching their thigh!
Make sure to be extra vigilant about comfort levels and little discomforts you could overlook. You know how annoying that buzzing fly trapped in your car can be. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that set us off!
At night, your little one may be too hot or too cold. Make sure they’re dressed and tucked in to avoid them waking up from the chills or the sweats!
Baby Won’t Stop Crying No Matter What?
If your baby won’t stop crying despite all your best efforts, it’s best to talk to your obstetrician about the issue. They could have an underlying health issue that affects their sleep!
Want to read more about women’s topics? Check out all our other awesome women’s articles!