If you’re new to parenting, congratulations. You’re just starting down a path that is sometimes grueling, but in the end very rewarding. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of watching your baby grow up right in front of your eyes as you nurture and take care of her.
One of the things you’ve no doubt discovered is that babies cry a lot. Of course, most of us know that, at least in theory, long before we have kids, but it isn’t until you’re actually the parent and have to deal with a crying baby that you get a real picture of how often they cry.
In a perfect world, babies would save all their crying for the day time and leave night time for sleeping. Unfortunately, we all know that’s just not the way it works. So, we set about doing what we can to help soothe our little ones back to sleep when they wake up upset.
Babies cry for lots of different reasons. Here are the main things you should check when your baby is crying at night:
- Is your baby hungry? If you breastfeed your baby, he will need to eat every 2-3 hours during his first 3-4 months. If you bottle feed him, he will still need to eat every 3-4 hours. As babies get closer to six months old, and especially after they start eating some solid food, they are able to sleep for longer and longer periods of time.
- Is your baby’s diaper clean and dry? Babies will generally sleep through a wet diaper, but if it gets soaked enough, it can irritate them to the point that they wake up. Soiled diapers tend to wake babies up as well, as it’s understandably uncomfortable to sleep like that.
- Is baby warm enough? Too warm? Check to make sure that baby is adequately covered up, but not overly bundled. Generally speaking, babies should have one more thin layer than you do, including clothing and blankets.
- Does baby need attention? Sometimes babies wake up and simply realize that they want your attention. There’s nothing wrong with catering to this and holding or rocking your baby at night. Unless you want to do it every night, though, your best bet is to keep the lights down low and avoid doing too much to stimulate your baby. The last thing you want your baby to associate night time with fun play time.