While moms live for the smiles their babies send their way, all too often, these periods of happiness are interrupted by fussiness. If your baby seems to be a bit more cranky than most, there could be a host of issues at the root of this problem. By working to determine why yours isn’t the happiest baby in the world, you’ll be able to respond more effectively to his fussing and potentially reduce the periods of whining and crying.
When your baby is a newborn, his cry isn’t necessarily a choice, but an automatic response instead, reports the Ask Dr.Sears website. When infants sense they need something, they unconsciously release air that travels through their vocal cords and creates the unmistakable infant cry. Creating this potentially ear-piercing sound is easy for an infant to produce, as it requires little effort or conscious thought. This biological ability increases the likelihood of infant survival because it ensures a baby will cry when he needs food or attention, long before he can consciously comprehend that he needs something.
Getting What He Needs
Before he develops the ability to produce intelligible speech, fussing is the only way a baby can get what he needs. This means that if your child has special needs, he will likely be more fussy. If your child, for example, metabolizes food very quickly, he may be more prone to fussing, as he will spend more of his time being hungry and in need of food, as a result.
If your baby’s fussiness seems to suddenly increase in regularity, it’s highly likely the increase is due to illness. When babies feel aches, pains and general illness-related discomfort, they have no recourse but to cry. Some illnesses are particularly prone to causing fussing, including colic. As KidsHealth reports, doctors have yet to determine exactly what causes colic or what cures the malady, but they do have a number of hypotheses regarding the condition. Some contend that colicky babies are simply suffering from trapped gas or have an under-developed digestive tract, leading to stomach pain. Others argue that colic may be the result of an infant simply taking longer to become acclimated to the world outside the womb. Because there is no known cure for colic, dealing with a colicky baby often proves highly challenging for parents.
Onset of Tantrums
Babies who increase their fuss-frequency around one year of age are likely beginning to exhibit tantrum behavior. While many parents think they’ll be free from tantrum worries until their tots hit the “terrible twos,” this is not actually the case. As KidsHealth reports, tantrums generally begin to appear between the ages of one and three, meaning that your one-year-old is not outside the norm if she is a bit fuss-prone.
Reducing The Fuss
Fussiness is just an unfortunate part of babyhood and, as a result, there is nothing that you can do to completely eliminate this undesirable behavior. You can, however, likely reduce the frequency with which your child fusses. To cut it down, you must first identify the cause of his distress. Determine the likely cause by taking note of when your child exhibits the behavior and by looking for any similarities. For example, if your child seems to get cranky around bed or nap time, over-exhaustion is probably the culprit. After identifying the cause of the fussiness, take steps to eliminate the problem: Put your baby to bed a bit earlier, for example, and see if the cranky attitude disappears.