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by Chantelle Roberts
(brampton ontario)

My baby is 8 weeks old. We will be sitting here and all of a sudden he will pout then start screaming with tears…lots of tears! It is like something is hurting him!

I’m not sure what it could be! Its scary though! could you help me?

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Baby Help Line:

2-Month-Old Baby Screaming In Pain

All infants cry and can be expected to do so. Crying is the baby’s first form of communication. By crying, they let us know when they need something. They may be hungry, thirsty, tired, uncomfortable, frustrated, feeling lonely or just want their position to be changed. Some babies cry when they have bowel movements, some babies cry for reasons that the parent simply won’t be able to figure out.

Many babies increase their crying time up to a peak at about 6 weeks of age.

Since your baby breaks out in a sudden cry, my guess would be gas that gives him sudden tummy pain or possibly fear at for example sudden noise. Some babies also cry when urinating, even if they do not have a diaper rash. It is their way of telling that the have to go. In large parts of the world, diapers are not used, and instead parents pay attention to the baby’s elimination communication, which can be a sudden cry.

Another reason for sudden cries is acid reflux (heart burn). This is quite common in babies and can make them cry in pain when acidic stomach content travels upwards towards their throat. Does your baby spit up a lot or wakes up screaming as well? That could indicate acid reflux. You can read a bit more about the symptoms of acid reflux in this forum thread.

In addition, the sudden cries can be due to the fact that you are missing some more subtle signals of hunger, pain or whatever that he actually starts with.

To try to figure out why he cries, check his diaper right after the crying. If it is wet, the cry can simply be something he does before urinating.

If it is not wet, try to gently push his knees towards his tummy to help him release gas. You can also shake his legs gently. If he does release gas, you have probably found the reason for his sudden crying. (In such case, you can prevent the tummy pain going forward by using baby massage.

Also try to watch him closely for signs of hunger, fear or being very tired. You can find a list of hints why babies cry here.

To minimize the crying, keep your baby close to you as much as possible. Get yourself a baby sling or let him rest in your lap. Young babies need to be close to their parents more than anything.

Finally, if the crying persists and your baby does not respond to the usual tricks, check him for signs of illness. Call your doctor if the baby is not consolable, extremely irritable, has a fever or refuses to eat normally.

I hope this helps,
Paula

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