Why is My Baby Crying?

Dr. VitaliyOur expert advisor, neonatologist Dr. Vitaliy Soloveychik, weighs in on your parenting questions. Dr. Soloveychik received his specialty training at University of Chicago and currently working as a attending Neonatologist at Carle Foundation Hospital in Champiagn-Urbana, IL.

Are there any foods I shouldn’t eat while breastfeeding?

When you are breastfeeding, it is very important to eat a well balanced diet that supplies all of the different nutrients, vitamins and minerals instead of relying on supplements. The only exception to this rule is if you follow a vegan diet or do not consume animal products like meat, chicken, fish or dairy frequently; consider taking a vitamin B12 supplement.

Studies have shown that while you are breastfeeding, it is recommended to avoid eating fish with a high mercury content such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish. Other types of fish and seafood like shrimp, canned light tuna, catfish and salmon have safe levels of mercury and are ok to eat up to 2 times per week.

Alcohol and caffeine can pass to your baby through breast milk. It is recommended that if you have one drink, you wait 2 hours to allow your body to metabolize the alcohol consumed before breastfeeding your child. In this case, one standard drink is equal to one glass of wine or one beer.

It is generally ok to drink caffeine while breastfeeding but if you drink more than 3 cups of any caffeinated beverage per day you may notice your baby getting fussy or having difficulty sleeping. Discontinuing or lowering your caffeine consumption will be enough to alleviate this problem.

What is the best way to tell if my baby is having trouble breathing?

As a new parent, it is important to know that babies breathe more times per minute and have a much faster heart rate than adults do. A normal heart rate for a baby is 120-160 beats per minute and a normal breathing rate is 40-60 breaths per minute.

So, even though when we have trouble breathing we may breath faster, your baby’s fast breathing is normal. An infant can breathe about once every second and still be considered normal.

If your baby is having trouble or has stopped breathing, he/she will usually turn a blue or pale color because their body is not getting enough oxygen. Choking, gasping and wheezing sounds while your baby is trying to breath or flaring of their nose can also tell you that they are having trouble getting enough air.

Why is my baby crying?

When you first bring your baby home and they start to cry, it can be scary, worrisome and frustrating for a new parent. In most cases (but remember, not all), your baby, especially if they are a newborn, will have a specific reason why they are crying.

When your baby begins to cry, check to make sure their diaper is not dirty, see if they are hungry, or just pick your baby up, maybe he/she was crying because they wanted some love and attention from you.

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If your baby is still crying when they are fed, clean, and held, check for any rashes, especially diaper rash, or anything else that can be causing them discomfort or pain.

If your baby is crying after a feeding, they may be having some stomach discomfort and need to be burped. If your baby is very weak, acting abnormally has a bulging soft spot on their head, swollen scrotum or is vomiting, call your doctor right away.

You should also take your baby to see a doctor if they are under 12 weeks and have a fever above 100.4°F or if you suspect pain or injury as the cause of their crying. Even if none of this is suspected and your newborn cannot be comforted after 2 hours, take your baby to see a doctor to check for any underlying cause of your child’s discomfort.

Have a question for our neonatologist? Ask it here! It may be featured in an upcoming post.

Medical Disclaimer: The contents of these posts are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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