The Mystery of the Crying Child - Solved!

Sumitra Gopal
0 to 1 years

Created by Sumitra Gopal
Updated on Oct 17, 2019

The Mystery of the Crying Child Solved
Reviewed by Expert panel

You're trying to juggle work with a hundred errands, and your little one won't stop tugging at your shirt and crying. You're at your wits' end because you just don't know what will comfort him.

Does the scene sound familiar? A parent develops a seventh sense the moment her little one is born - a "cry sensor," one that helps identify why her baby is crying and how to soothe him. Your baby's only medium of communication with you, is to cry. So more often than not, it might be a simple need to be addressed. Read on to find out how you can identify the reasons, and help your crying baby.

Why Is My Child Crying?

If you take a step back and think about it, your baby's cries often fall into one of these categories we've listed. While the first and the seventh are the most visible ones, the others need a little more guess work and inference.Don't lose hope, you get better at it as you and your child grow together. Here are some of the most common reasons why babies cry-

  1. When hurt physically: This becomes easy to identify if the injury is visible, or if you witnessed the accident. The cry is usually loud. However, if you don't see anything externally, but your baby continues to cry loudly, check for little things like a hair wrapped tightly around the toe.

    What you can do: Aparent's reaction conveys the gravity of the situation to the child. Calmly move closer to your child and examine the injury. If it needs medical attention, speak to him gently and tell him that you will need to visit the doctor. Explain that there will be some pain involved, but that you will be there to help him handle it. For all minor injuries, a hug and a gentle massage, without the panic, works like a charm

  2. When he's unwell: Depending on what's bothering him, it could be a fussy cry, or inconsolable wailing.

    What you can do: The first, most obvious thing is to check if he has a fever. If he has been down with a cold, and he cries inconsolably, check with your pediatrician if it could be an ear infection. Ear pain usually makes babies cry inconsolably. If he has vomiting or diarrhea, consult your doctor since it could be a tummy bug

  3. When there is an emotional need: The cry is inconsolable and followed by sullen or irrational behavior that is not typical of the child

    What you can do:This is a tough one to gauge when nothing obviously went wrong, especially when not in your presence. As a parent, you will know how your child behaves on a normal day. So, in general, anyunusualbehavior and associated crying is a signal that you need to dig a bit deeper. Empathy, kind words and a casual conversation work best when your child needs emotional comfort

  4. When he wants attention:You will notice that this cry surfaces when you're busy with work, or having a conversation with someone else. Your child might be clingy and cry.

    What you can do:Take a minute, stop what you're doing and ask him what he would like to do. If you can spare the time, put your work aside. Otherwise, explain what you're doing, why it's important that you do it then, and how much time you will take. If you have the physical and mind space, engage him in a parallel activity - he wanted your attention not because you're busy, but because he did not know how to engage himself

  5. When the tummy needs fuel:Just like a vehicle out of fuel, this cry is sporadic and unclear

    What you can do:Your child can't always tell you that he is hungry. Make sure he eats his meals on time.Keep some healthy snacks handy at all times. While travelling, make sure your child is hydrated, and you have a bag of his favorite snacks. However, if he does reach this stage of hunger, the only choice is to stop what you are doing and fuel the engine!

  6. When he needs sleep: This makes him cranky, with fussy crying

    What you can do: If your child is clearly exhausted, hasn't had his nap and seems to be rubbing his eyes – you know what you need to do! Try having a routine where bed time and nap time are approximately at the same time every day. This way, he won't be overtired and cranky. But if he is, ease him into a nap. Telling him strictly to go to bed won't work, because he is already cranky. Take him to bed, read him a story and talk to him casually

  7. When your child simply wants it "My way and only my way": this is a war cry!

    What you can do: Most often, all logic fails in such a situation. For something extremely unreasonable, it won't do your child harm to let him cry a bit. Just hold him while he cries. This way, he knows that while you don't accept his behavior, you're still there for him. Otherwise, speak to your child gently, but firmly and tell him that it can't be done. Later, when he has calmed down, have some reflection time when you can talk about what happened

Your child's crying is usually a way to signal that he needs you. If it's not a physical need like hunger or sleep, a cuddle and some kind words will do the trick and soothe him. We hope you find these tips helpful.

Do you have any more tips to soothe a crying child? Let us know in the comments section!

This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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| Nov 05, 2019

My baby she cry simply .she can't lie on the floor and play alone ,she always need someone beside her .but all are bussy with some works. She is now 7months only. please suggest

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| Sep 28, 2017

Really interesting info

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| Sep 28, 2017

useful information .thanks for sharing.

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| Sep 27, 2017

it is a sigh of relief for parents of newborns and small babies. its a stressbuster blog for parents who sometimes get absolutely clueless as to why without any visible signs of discomfort baby is inconsolable. thank u So much for sharing this!

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| Jun 22, 2017

thanks you so much for useful suggestions

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| Jun 22, 2017

Extreme informative. I have been doing the same. It works n we can concentrate in better way on our work.

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| Jun 22, 2017

Thanks for informative blog. my baby is 7 months old, he is crying in between the sleep, please tell me the reason if any.

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| Jun 22, 2017

Thanks for informative blog. Is your newborn’s constant crying leaving you distraught? Here are some tips to discover the causes and calm him down.

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| Jun 22, 2017

thank you for the blog, the most concern area for every parents.

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