Ah! I just got finished nursing my four-month old to sleep. Prior to this blissful moment, she was crying, rubbing her eyes, and rooting around on my shoulder. Thankfully, I understood correctly what she was trying to communicate! Sometimes when our babies cry it is easy and obvious, if we are paying attention, to follow their cues. Other times, after trying a myriad of things, they are still just as upset! It can be frustrating and contribute to feelings of failure when our little ones are crying and we can’t figure out why. Thankfully, it is usually one of seven things and only rarely is it something else. Following are my primary and secondary checklists that I use when comforting my little one:
The Primary Checklist:
- Are they hungry?
- Are they tired?
- Do they have a wet or dirty diaper?
- Do they need to burp?
- Are they are lonely and need affection?
- Do they have gas or an upset tummy?—Check out my post, "Help! My Baby Has Gas!", for a list of the most common gassy foods for baby.
- Are they teething?
The Secondary checklist:
- Check their clothing for irritants-- If you use diaper pins check to make sure they are not poking your baby.
- Check their fingers and toes for constricting hairs—this does happen! Sometimes a hair will get stuck in the foot of a sleeper and then get wrapped around a toe!
- Is your baby ill? Does your baby have a fever? Sometimes a baby can be fighting an infection of some kind, like an ear infection, and be crying to communicate that they are experiencing pain.
- Think over your baby’s last couple of days—has your baby recently taken any medication or had a vaccination? If you think this may be the case, call your doctor immediately as inconsolable crying due to a medication or vaccine can be serious.