Newborn Lesson #43

August 10, 2011: There is a cry indicator! …of sorts.

12 reasons babies cry and how to soothe them

by Dana Dubinsky
Reviewed by the BabyCenter Medical Advisory Board
Last updated: January 2011

There’s no getting around it: Babies cry. It’s how they communicate hunger, pain, fear, a need for sleep, and more.

So how are parents supposed to know what their baby is trying to tell them? It can be tricky to interpret your child’s cries, especially at first.

Here are the most common reasons babies cry. If your little one is wailing and you don’t know why, work your way down the list. Chances are you’ll find something that helps.

1. Hunger

This is probably the first thing you think of when your baby cries.

Learning to recognize the signs of hunger will help you start your baby’s feedings before the crying stage. Some signs to watch for in newborns: fussing, smacking of lips, rooting (a newborn reflex that causes babies to turn their head toward your hand when you stroke their cheek), and putting  their hands to their mouth.

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