Newborn Won't Stop Crying? Here's What You Can Do
For their small size, babies can let out quite a scream! All babies cry for one reason or another, especially in the first several weeks. So, as an exhausted parent, what are you to do when your newborn won’t stop crying?
In this article, Mustela's baby experts help you figure out why your baby might be crying and give you 9 tips for calming your crying newborn when nothing else seems to work.
Reasons Your Newborn Won’t Stop Crying
Most of the time, it feels like all newborns do is eat, sleep, dirty their diapers, and, of course, cry!
Usually, babies cry for a specific reason. If you know why your baby is crying, you’ll have a greater chance of helping them to feel better and calm down.
Remember that newborns need to eat frequently — every couple of hours!
Since babies can’t use words to tell you when they’re hungry, they may cry to let you know. A bottle or breastfeeding session may be all they need.
Your crying baby might be sitting or lying in an uncomfortable position and let out a cry to let you know.
It could also be that they’re too hot or cold. Babies often get cold when you change their diaper or give them a bath, and they may be hot if they have one too many layers on.
Adjust your little one’s position to make them comfortable. Also, check to make sure they aren’t too hot or too cold and adjust their clothing accordingly.
Just like your newborn eats around the clock, it will also seem like they sleep around the clock. That’s because it’s kind of true!
Babies need to sleep around 14 to 16 hours every day. Your newborn might cry to let you know that they’re sleepy and ready for a nap.
The best thing to do is to learn your little one’s signals so you can anticipate when they will be tired and put them in their crib before they start wailing.
Bloating And Gas
When your newborn swallows air while they drink milk, air bubbles can get stuck in their tummy and cause gas. This can be painful and make your baby cry.
Bloating and gas aren’t usually cause for concern, but they can make your baby uncomfortable and might be the reason for their crying. To prevent this, burp your little one after every feeding session!
A Wet Or Dirty Diaper
The other thing babies seem to do all the time? Pee and poop!
Your baby will wet or dirty their diaper frequently and may cry to have it changed. Sitting in a wet or dirty diaper can be especially uncomfortable for your little one if they have diaper rash.
Keep your baby’s bottom clean and fresh by changing their diaper frequently. Not only is it uncomfortable to sit in a wet diaper, but it also puts your baby at risk for developing diaper rash.
To keep them in tip-top shape, apply Mustela’s Diaper Rash Cream 1 2 3 or Diaper Rash Sprayable Cream every time you change your little one!
Feeling Scared Or Overwhelmed
Your newborn has emotions just like you, and since they’re fresh out of the womb, everything is new to them! They may feel scared or overwhelmed by what’s going on around them and cry in response.
Take a look to see if there’s something that might make your baby frightened or anxious.
Babies can get sick with a variety of illnesses that make them fuss and cry more than usual.
If your baby is not acting normal and your parental intuition is telling you that something is not right, call your pediatrician to discuss your baby’s symptoms.
Finally, if none of the above seems to be the cause of your baby’s crying, they might have colic.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says, “If the crying does not stop, but intensifies and persists throughout the day or night, it may be caused by colic.”
Colic is defined by its main symptom: intense and unexplainable crying. The cause is unknown.
The AAP goes on to note that colicky babies “cry inconsolably, often screaming, extending or pulling up their legs, and passing gas. Their stomachs may be enlarged or distended with gas. The crying spells can occur around the clock, although they often become worse in the early evening.”
If you think your baby might have colic, talk to your pediatrician.
All of that being said, even with the best care, sometimes newborns seem to cry for no reason! What can you do? Keep reading to find out.
How To Help When Your Newborn Won’t Stop Crying
First things first: make sure your crying newborn is fed, burped, changed, and well-rested. If they continue crying and you don’t know why, you’ll need a few tricks up your sleeve to help calm, distract, and soothe your sweet one.
We’ve got you covered! Let’s take a look.
1) Calm Yourself
A crying newborn can be quite frustrating for you as a parent. If you start to feel overwhelmed, take a few deep breaths to calm yourself down.
Your baby will know if you’re stressed! Ask for help from your partner or a friend if needed.
2) Hold Your Baby Close
Touch is very important for infants. Being held close can soothe them and help them feel safe and secure. Cuddle your baby, rub their back or tummy, and let them know you’re there.
Wrapping your little one in a swaddle is another way to make them feel snug.
3) Give Your Baby A Massage
A baby massage helps to soothe your little one and is great for their skin at the same time! What exactly is a baby massage? It’s simply using your fingers and hands to gently but firmly stroke your baby’s body in a calming way.
To get the full scoop on how to do it, check out our article here!
When you massage your baby, use a gentle lotion or baby oil, like Mustela’s Baby Oil. Composed of 99% plant-based ingredients, our protective baby oil blends effortlessly into the skin, creating a comforting massage experience for your baby.
Even better, it moisturizes your little one’s skin at the same time!
4) Carry Your Baby
We mentioned that cuddling your baby and holding them in your arms is one way to comfort them. Another way is to put them in a baby carrier or wrap.
This allows you to make them feel cozy, secure, and safe while keeping your hands free! Your baby might also be soothed by the constant motion of you walking around.
This is your chance to fix a cup of tea (or coffee) and take a deep breath.
5) Rock, Bounce, And Sway
Gentle movement can help a distressed little one calm down. Whether you’re holding your baby or have them in a carrier, trying rocking, bouncing, or swaying.
Stand up and sway back and forth, or bend at the knees to bounce your little one up and down. Or sit in a comfy rocking chair and rock away!
6) Go For A Walk
When your newborn won’t stop crying, going for a walk or taking them outside might be just the ticket! The great outdoors can work wonders for a fussy baby and might help you relax as well. Plus, the lulling movement of the stroller can also soothe your baby.
If you venture outside, remember to armor up with sun protection!
For babies under six months old, provide them with shade, protective clothing, and the like. For babies older than six months, kids, and the rest of the family, lather up with Mustela’s SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Lotion.
7) Give Your Baby A Bath
A bath can be both relaxing and distracting when your newborn won’t stop crying.
Keep bath time safe for their delicate skin by using gentle products made with naturally derived ingredients, like Mustela’s Foam Shampoo For Newborns and Gentle Cleansing Gel.
Expert tip: Baths can save the day in more than one way! If your baby has eczema, read our article about how to bathe your little one to avoid flare-ups. Click here.
8) Talk, Coo, Sing, And Shush
Don’t underestimate the power of using your voice to calm your little one. When your newborn won’t stop crying, talk softly to them, sing or hum, and make soft shh-ing noises.
If these gentle noises seem to calm your baby, consider using a white noise machine in their nursery.
9) Distract Your Newborn
When your baby is crying, sometimes distracting them is the name of the game!
Need some ideas? Make funny faces for them, read a baby book, put them in front of a mirror, or let them look outside the window.
Hush, Little Baby
Sometimes, newborns cry for very specific reasons, like being hungry, sleepy, or sick. Other times, no matter what you do, your baby won’t seem to calm down.
When your newborn won’t stop crying, get creative and soothe them with one of the tips we listed above.
Snuggle your little one close, give them a baby massage with Mustela’s Baby Oil, go for a walk, make calming noises, or give them a bath with Foam Shampoo For Newborns and Gentle Cleansing Gel.
Learn what works to calm your little one, and be sure to give them plenty of kisses in the meantime!