Why Baby Cry at Night

Babies might cry at night because they’re not yet able to tell the difference between night and day. Stimulating play and activity during the day can help your little one develop a strong sleep/wake cycle, while also helping them master motor skills. Fortunately, babies typically outgrow this habit by the end of their first year. In the meantime, you can soothe your baby by giving them a chance to settle down on their own or by cradling and rocking them for a few minutes.

The reasons behind why babies wake up at night is simply because they have a need to fulfill. The most common obstructions include: Hunger, Diapering, Separation anxiety and Spoiled sleeping patterns ”

Many parents wonder when their baby will start sleeping through the night. While some babies may begin to sleep for longer stretches at 3 or 4 months, most will still be waking up several times at night until they are much older.

Don’t worry if your sweet baby cries when she wakes up in the night. It’s normal for babies to have separation anxiety and to want mommy (or daddy) when they first wake up. If you’ve checked that she has a dry diaper, and nothing else is wrong, it’s generally better to let her cry for a few minutes, before going in the room to comfort her. This will help with her separation anxiety issue and will teach her that falling asleep again does not require your presence or assistance.

Separation anxiety is a normal stage of development that happens during this time. If your baby calls out or cries in the middle of the night, give them some time to settle down.

Separation anxiety is a normal stage of development that happens once your baby is able to understand that people and things exist even when he or she cannot see them. Sometimes a peek-a-boo game can help your child learn about object permanence. If this happens, as with other awakenings, give your baby some time to settle down. Most babies outgrow sleep problems by the end of their first year.

Newborns cry a lot—but they sleep even more. Most newborns sleep about eight to nine hours during the day and another eight hours at night, though not all at once. Your baby probably won’t sleep through the night (six to eight hours) until she’s at least three months old. Some babies don’t sleep through the night until six months or older. So it stands to reason that lots of crying starts up when you thought she was sleeping peacefully—or when you’re trying to sleep.

Crying is your baby’s primary way of sending you a message. Babies cry at night to signal that they are in need of your help. What’s she trying to tell you when she wakes up wailing or cries in her sleep? Here are the main reasons why babies cry at night, and what to try when you’re wondering how to stop a crying baby.

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.

How to Calm a Crying Baby in 5 Seconds

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.

1. Routine Crying

This type of crying is usually attributed to disruptions in your baby’s normal schedule, and is rarely due to discomfort associated with a feeding issue. It may be time for your baby to eat or sleep, or your baby may be overstimulated. 

What Helps: To soothe a baby crying at night, try cuddling, swaddling, and walking with your baby, all of which provide motion and body contact. A white-noise machine or fan in the room can help, too. 

2. Sheer Hunger

Your newborn needs to eat every few hours because her stomach is so tiny. Most babies cry at night because they are hungry.

What Helps: Crying is actually a late indicator of hunger, after things like smacking lips or sucking on fist. Check the clock, and if it’s been two or three hours since the last feeding, your baby is probably waking up to tell you she needs to be fed.

3. Hunger-Gas-Crying Cycle

If your baby cries at night from hunger for some time, she may work herself into a frenzy and find it difficult to calm down when nourishment arrives. When a baby is frantic to eat, sometimes she then gulps air with the milk, causing gas. This can create a cycle of discomfort that makes your baby fuss and cry instead of settling back into sleep once her hunger has been satisfied.

What Helps: Feed your baby before she becomes frantically hungry. Taking a break to burp her during a feeding, as well as after, can help. If you’re formula-feeding your baby, talk to your doctor about changing to a different type. Enfamil NeuroPro™ Gentlease® is designed to ease fussiness, gas, and crying in 24 hours, while providing nutrition for healthy development. FEATUREDEnfamil NeuroPro Gentlease Infant Formula

4. Crying Associated with an Allergy

When your baby’s crying is persistent and not related to hunger, sleep, or general discomfort, cow’s milk protein allergy may be the cause. Colic due to cow’s milk protein allergy tends to follow a pattern of threes: crying for more than three hours per day (usually in the evening), for more than three days per week, and for more than three weeks. 

What Helps: You should consult your pediatrician to determine if your baby’s crying is the result of a cow’s milk protein allergy. If your baby has diagnosed cow’s milk allergy, talk to your doctor about Nutramigen with Enflora™ LGG®, which is clinically proven to manage colic due to cow’s milk allergy with 90% of infants improving within 48 hours.

5. Other Discomfort

Although the stomach is your newborn’s main alarm clock right now, other things can cause baby crying at night. Check for:

  • A diaper that needs changing
  • A finger tangled uncomfortably in a swaddle
  • A room that’s grown too hot or too cold
  • Sickness (A baby who has a cold or ear infection might waken more often than usual.)

What Helps: Especially if you’ve just fed your baby and she’s still fussy, check out these other possibilities to learn how to stop a crying baby. A quick diaper change before feedings can make her feel calmer while eating. If you suspect sickness, check her temperature; a rectal temperature over 100.4°F (38°C) warrants a call to your pediatrician. 

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