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Newborn Crying: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

by icontrolmyhealth
newborn crying

Newborn crying ringing a new life into the world is an incredible feat, and it’s natural for parents to be curious about every aspect of their newborn’s behavior, including why they cry when they’re born. The truth is that there are many reasons why babies cry during birth and it is a key part of the birth process. In this article, we will explore the fascinating phenomenon of why babies cry at birth and delve into the many factors that contribute to this behavior.

First Cry: Signal of arrival

The first cry of a newborn is the signal that they have arrived in the world. This cry is also known as the “birth cry” and is a necessary part of the birth process. Crying is a sign that the baby’s lungs have inflated with air and indicates that the baby is breathing and in good health. It is also a sign that the baby’s circulatory system has begun to function properly.

The Sound of Life: The meaning of crying for newborns

Crying is a basic function for newborns. It is their primary means of communication and serves several purposes. First, crying helps a baby alert a parent or caregiver that they need something, whether it’s food, a diaper change, or comfort. Crying also helps regulate a newborn’s body temperature, heart rate, and breathing. Additionally, crying is a natural stress reliever for your baby and can help release any tension they may be feeling.

Benefits of Newborn Crying:

Newborn crying may seem like a daunting and distressing experience, but it plays a vital role in a baby’s development and well-being.

Here are some benefits of newborn crying:

  • Communication: Crying is the primary way babies communicate their needs and wants to their caregivers. Babies can signal when they are hungry, uncomfortable, tired, or in pain by crying. This communication is essential for caregivers to understand and respond to the child’s needs, promoting a sense of safety and trust between the child and their caregivers.
  • Brain development: Crying can help a baby’s brain develop by stimulating the release of oxytocin and other hormones in both the baby and the caregiver. This helps build neural connections in the child’s brain, leading to increased brain development and better cognitive and emotional outcomes in the long term.
  • Self-soothing: Crying can also help babies learn to self-soothe, an essential skill for later life. When a child cries, he learns to regulate his emotions and calm down. As they get older, they may use these self-soothing techniques to cope with stress and manage their emotions.
  • Health: Crying can help clear a baby’s airways and improve lung function, which is essential for their overall health and development. In addition, crying can stimulate the digestive system and help the baby pass gas or have a bowel movement, which can help reduce discomfort and prevent constipation.
  • Bonding: Crying can also facilitate bonding between a baby and its caregivers. When a caregiver responds to a baby’s cry with warmth, love, and care, it helps build a strong emotional bond between them. This bond is essential for a child’s emotional development and lays the foundation for healthy relationships in the future.

Although newborn crying can be challenging, it is a natural and necessary part of a baby’s development. By understanding the benefits of crying, caregivers can better respond to their baby’s needs and raise a healthy, happy, and well-adjusted baby.

Disadvantages of Newborn Crying:

Newborn crying is a natural and normal behavior that babies use to communicate their needs and wants to their caregivers. However, excessive crying or crying that persists beyond the first weeks of life can have negative consequences for both the baby and the caregiver.

Here are some disadvantages of newborn crying:

  • Stress for the baby: Crying can cause physical and emotional stress in a newborn. The act of crying can cause an increased heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels in a baby, which can be harmful if it continues for a long time.
  • Sleep disruptions: Newborn crying can disrupt a baby’s sleep patterns, leading to sleep deprivation for both the baby and the caregiver. Not getting enough sleep can harm the baby’s growth and make the person taking care of the baby more likely to feel sad or depressed after giving birth.
  • Relationship strain: The constant crying of a newborn can cause strain on the relationship between the baby and the caregiver. The caregiver may become frustrated, exhausted, and angry with the child, leading to a breakdown in the bond between them.
  • Social isolation: Excessive newborn crying can make the caregiver feel embarrassed or ashamed in social situations, leading to social isolation and a lack of support from family and friends.
  • Medical concerns: In some cases, excessive crying in a newborn can be a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as colic, reflux, or an ear infection. If left untreated, these conditions can cause long-term health problems for the baby.

Although crying is a normal part of newborn development, excessive crying can have negative consequences for both the baby and the caregiver. Caregivers must seek support and medical attention if their baby’s crying persists beyond the first few weeks of life.

Causes of newborn crying:

Crying is a natural and necessary way for newborns to communicate their needs and feelings. However, it can be distressing for parents to hear their baby cry, especially when they are unable to identify the cause. There are many reasons why newborns cry, and understanding these causes can help parents provide appropriate care and comfort.

  • Hunger: Hunger is the most common reason a newborn cries. Babies who have just been born have tiny tummies and require frequent feedings. Crying is their way of letting their parents know they are hungry and need to be fed.
  • Sleepiness: Newborns need a lot of sleep, but they can get tired and have trouble falling asleep. Crying can be a sign that the baby is sleepy and needs to be put in the crib.
  • Dirty diaper: Wet or soiled diapers can be uncomfortable for newborns, and they may cry to let parents know they need to be changed.
  • Colic: Colic is a term used to describe excessive crying in otherwise healthy infants. The cause of colic is unknown, but it is thought to be related to digestive problems or discomfort.
  • Overstimulation: Newborns can be overwhelmed by too much stimulation, such as loud noises or bright lights. Crying can be a sign that the baby needs a quiet and peaceful environment.
  • Temperature: Newborns are unable to regulate their body temperature and may be too hot or too cold. Crying can be a sign that the baby is uncomfortable due to temperature changes.
  • Illness: Crying can be a sign that a baby is sick or in pain. Common causes of illness in newborns include ear infections, respiratory infections, and digestive problems.
  • Teething: Teething can cause discomfort and pain in newborns, leading to crying and irritability.
  • Gas: Newborns may cry because of gas in their digestive system, which can cause discomfort and pain.
  • The need for comfort: Newborns may cry simply because they need to be held and comforted. Cuddling, rocking, or gentle stroking can help soothe a crying baby.

Newborn crying can be caused by several factors, including hunger, sleepiness, dirty diapers, colic, overstimulation, temperature changes, illness, teething, and the need for comfort. By paying attention to their baby’s cues and needs, parents can provide appropriate care and comfort to help calm the baby and reduce crying.

Newborn symptoms of crying:

Newborns who cry excessively may show the following symptoms:

  • Constant crying that is not easy to stop
  • Crying that is intense and high pitched
  • Arching the back or raising the legs when crying
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Refusal to feed or difficulty feeding
  • Excessive anxiety or irritability, even when not crying
  • Not wanting to spend time with others or play with them
  • Signs of physical discomfort, such as a bloated belly or a red, flushed face.

It is important to remember that some crying is normal for newborns and can be a means of communication. However, if you are concerned about your baby’s crying, it is always a good idea to consult a pediatrician to rule out any underlying health problems.

Treatment of newborn crying:

Newborn crying is a common and normal behavior in the first months of a baby’s life. However, excessive crying can be distressing for both the baby and the parent. There are different ways to manage and treat newborn crying, depending on the underlying cause.

  • Addressing Basic Needs: Newborns cry when they are hungry, sleepy, need their diaper changed, or feel too hot or cold. Make sure the baby is fed, swaddled, and comfortable before attempting any other intervention.
  • Soothing Techniques: Swaddling, rocking, and gentle bouncing are some effective techniques to soothe a crying baby. You can also try using a pacifier, singing, or playing soothing music. Skin-to-skin contact and massage can also help calm the baby down.
  • Treatment for colic: Colic is a condition that causes babies to cry excessively, often due to gas or digestive problems. There are different ways to manage colic, including changing your baby’s diet, trying different feeding positions, and giving probiotics or other medications.
  • Medical intervention: In some cases, newborn crying can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. If the baby’s crying is persistent or is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever or vomiting, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
  • Emotional support: It is common for parents to feel overwhelmed and stressed when dealing with a crying baby. It is important to seek emotional support from family members or professionals such as a therapist or support group.
    Treating newborn crying involves addressing the baby’s basic needs, using soothing techniques, managing colic, seeking medical intervention if necessary, and finding emotional support for the parents. It’s important to remember that newborn crying is normal behavior and as time goes on, babies usually settle more and cry less often.


Babies cry when they are born for a variety of reasons, including physical and emotional stress, the need for food or comfort, and the sudden transition from the womb to the outside world. The act of crying serves as a way for babies to communicate their needs and attract the attention of caregivers. While crying can be a normal and healthy part of a baby’s development, excessive or constant crying can be a sign of underlying health problems or discomfort. Parents need to respond to their baby’s crying in a timely and appropriate manner to help them feel safe and develop a healthy attachment.

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