6 things your baby’s cries might mean

You’ve tried all of the obvious things – Baby isn’t hungry, her diaper is dry and clean, and she doesn’t seem to be gassy or need burping, but she just won’t stop crying. Baby cries to try to communicate, though, so after those more obvious potential problems get ruled out, it’s time to start thinking at the next level.

It’s a big, bad world out there

Baby has been out in the world a few months now, but she is still closer to brand-new than she ever will be again, and sometimes just being out and about is enough to feel like too much to her. Baby might be feeling overstimulated and like too much is going on, which you can help with by moving to somewhere quiet and holding her gently. She could also be missing the constant rocking motion of being carried around inside your body, or the white noise of the womb all around her, or the constant sense of another heartbeat nearby. Things like white-noise machines, an ultra-supervised visit to a buzzing washer or dryer, a trip in the car, or just a walk around the block in your arms, held against your chest could all help Baby get that feeling back.

Hot and cold

Baby is young enough not to have fully mastered the fine art of regulating her own temperature, which means that she is at your mercy for help adding or removing layers if she finds herself getting a little too warm or a bit chilly. It’s normal to try to keep Baby bundled to whatever degree keeps you comfortable in the same environment, but Baby is a different person with a different personal physiology, which could run hotter or colder than yours. It could take some trial and error to figure out how Baby is feeling, but you’ll get there before long. Just remember that basing your idea of her temperature on the way her hands and feet feel won’t be totally accurate, as extremities tend to run a little colder. Baby’s belly temperature is a much better indication of how she might be feeling.

Baby loves you

And because she loves you so much, sometimes when she is away from you, she cries to be near you. Baby’s first few months of existence were spent in constant physical contact, and since she has been out in the world, you and your partner have been her favorite people. Sometimes when Baby cries, she just wants to know that you’re close. Wearing her around the house in a sling sometimes can stop this problem before it even starts.


It could be that Baby is just bored – and unlike you, she doesn&;t have the option of flipping open a book, putting a movie on Netflix, or even making herself focus on getting a slightly annoying chore done while she has some free time – she depends on you for entertainment. Luckily, she also isn&;t too demanding of an audience. A brightly colored toy to look at, or even just a walk around the living room with you could clear that boredom right up!


Even before Baby starts to actually teethe, she is preparing for those incoming teeth beneath the surface of her gums, which can lead to some discomfort.

Growing pains – literally

You know that Baby is growing every day – you’re watching it happen before your eyes. What you might not know, because you weren’t exactly building lasting memories yet when you were little enough to be experiencing the same thing, is that growing bones at that kind of speed hurts. This kind of pain isn’t necessarily something you can do anything about, but just being with you and being soothed by you, even if you can’t make it stop, reassures Baby that you’re there, and she is safe. These cries aren’t any fun for you, but just remember, it’s even harder for Baby.

Potential health problems

If Baby is consistently crying and also has a fever, or is having digestive issues like vomiting, constipation or diarrhea, call the doctor to make sure nothing more serious is wrong. High-pitched cries or screams are often signs of pain, so take a look around for bug bites, a hair tourniquet, fever, or rumbling tummy. If you start to notice a consistent pattern in Baby’s crying, but can’t find a cause, like if Baby cries after eating, that could also be a sign that something isn’t quite right, and that it’s time to check in with Baby’s doctor.

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