Baby crying at night: Normal or cause for concern?
It’s a well-known fact that babies wake up frequently at night. They fuss cry and wail for many reasons and sometimes for no reason at all. Every baby is an individual and there may be many factors that cause your baby to cry at night.
Hunger is one of the primary reasons for a baby crying at night. A newborn grows rapidly and has a small stomach which means that parents should expect to be awakened several times a night to feed their baby.
Babies are doing a lot of growing and developing in a short amount of time which means they need time to rest. According to the National Sleep Foundation a newborn needs 14 to 17 hours of sleep in a day. As the baby develops his or her sleep habits (and sleep needs) change requiring less sleep as they grow and staying asleep for longer stretches at a time.
It isn’t reasonable to expect a baby to sleep through the night until they’re able to go without eating for at least six hours and that can mean there’s a wide variation concerning when individual babies will begin sleeping through the night. However there’s some hope. According to the National Sleep Foundation by 9 months of age 70 percent of babies will stay asleep all night.
Crying: Other reasons
The Mayo Clinic explains that babies often cry because they miss their parents. They could also be uncomfortable due to the temperature in the room a soiled diaper or because they lost their pacifier. The majority of the time overcoming these little problems — coupled with a tight swaddle and a few gentle rocks — will soothe your crying baby. Also white noise cuddles and a consistent bedtime routine can help.
The National Sleep Foundation also recommends that you help your baby learn how to fall asleep themselves by putting the baby down drowsy but awake. This helps your baby learn how to fall asleep so when they do wake at night they are able to go back to sleep without you coming in to perform the bedtime routine all over again.
When to speak to your pediatrician
Some babies have colic which is when a baby cries for no clear reason for at least three hours a day three days in a week three weeks in a row. This condition is often difficult for parents but the baby will eventually grow out of it. The Seattle Children’s Hospital notes that the peak period of crying for babies is typically between 6 weeks to 8 weeks old.
If you need guidance on your baby crying at night call the baby’s pediatrician. He or she can assess the baby for conditions (like acid reflux) that may be contributing to your baby’s long nights awake and also provide helpful advice to get your baby his or her best sleep.
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