Why babies cry at night?

pregnancy and baby care

Did your baby ever wake up suddenly at midnight crying very loudly without any reason? If yes, then you must be very much worried to know the real reason for your baby waking up suddenly crying. Sometimes though your baby is very healthy and active all day, he might wake up at night crying. In this article, you will know all the reasons for your baby’s night cry.
There are many reasons why babies cry at night. Almost 90 percent of all newborn babies and toddlers up to 3 years of age and above, wake up at night suddenly and start crying continuously without any reason. We as parents get worried and don’t understand what to do at that midnight time when everything around us is dark and silent. So we get tensed and try to wake up our partners and other family members in the home to figure out what’s wrong with our baby or search on the internet as we cannot call the doctors or any other family members or friends at midnight for no reason. I also did the same when I experienced such a situation. Based on my personal experience I will share with you some tips and tricks to do when your babies wake up at night suddenly.
From day 1 to the age of 3 years old, your baby is going to wake up at night. Babies who are Breastfed and formula-fed will compulsorily wake up in between nights for their feed. At this time their age can be around 2 years and this is completely normal and a routine for your baby to wake up for feeds. Once they stop their breastmilk and formula feedings, waking up at night will become very very less. Now they will wake up at night only when they are ill, had bad dreams, are scared of the dark, have separation anxiety, have gas problems, feel thirsty, feel hungry, and of course, if they have a dirty or soiled diaper.

My Personal Experience

I am going to share with you some hidden facts, beliefs, and myths about why babies cry at night without any reason which you might not know or believe, as we live in the year 2022 in a world full of knowledge, technology, science, proof, etc.
In the first few initial months of my baby’s life, he used to wake up at night for breast milk or formula milk. This is normal in every newborn baby. They wake up at night every 2 to 3 hours due to hunger as they have to be fed with breastmilk or formula milk every 2 to 3 hours. He used to sleep after feeds and sometimes he still cried even after feeds. That was because he was feeling very uncomfortable as he was not able to get a burp after feeds and this can create gas in the stomach. But sometimes he simply cried even after feeds, proper naps, and good health. This is because of the EVIL EYE.
What is an EVIL EYE?
This might sound very awkward or new to you but this is real. An evil eye means that your baby is suffering some health issues or getting irritated or feeling uncomfortable due to others’ jealousy towards your child. There are many people outside who are not happy to see you or your baby happy and healthy. Sometimes they compare their child with your children or other children and feel jealous if your child is more beautiful, healthy, intelligent, and kind than their child or other children. In the Muslim Urdu language, this is also called NAZAR. Not everyone has an evil eye. There are only some people whose hearts are not pure or don’t want to do any good for you and your family.
In Islam, it is recommended to say MASHALLAH ( what Allah has willed) and ALHAMDULILLAH (Praise be to Allah) whenever you see something beautiful or hear good news from someone. This protects you from the evil eye as your praise Allah’s creation and not the thing that you saw just now.
Signs and symptoms of an EVIL EYE:-
A baby suffering from the evil eye will get irritated and uncomfortable all the time. He may sometimes also get a slight fever, headaches, and body pains. You can understand the signs of an evil eye just by looking at your baby. If your baby is crying for no reason, even after having enough food, proper sleep, proper routine, good health, and a good environment, then this can be a sign of the evil eye of someone whom you visited that day or went outside with your baby, or talked about your baby on phone.
Treatment at home:-
  • Read ‘Bismillahi khairuhu was ibrahima khairuhu’ 3 times.
  • Read Darood Shareef  ‘Allahumma sulliallah sayyedina muhammadiyu wa ala aali sayyidina muhammadin obarik wa sullim’ one time.
  • Read surah Fatiha 7 times.
  • Read surah ayat ul kursi 3 times.
  • Read surah Kausar 7 times.
  • Read surah Ikhlas 3 times.
  • Read Surah Falaq 3 times.
  • Read surah Naas 3 times.
  • Read Darood Shareef one time.
  • Read ‘Bismillahi khairuhu wa ibrahima khairuhu’ 3 times.
  • Now blow it in water and let your child or any other family member suffering from an evil eye drink it.
Whenever you take your baby outside make sure his head is covered with a cap and his clothes are normal.. not too fashionable or too dirty. In the olden days, elders used to apply kajal (a black spot) on the baby’s cheek and one side of the head or the foot and they used to cover the newborn baby with a cloth whenever they take him outside. They used to do this until the child becomes 3 years old. They believe that doing this can protect the baby from evil eye… As people will see only the black spot on a beautiful face and a normal blanket on the baby and feel that the baby is not very beautiful.
Sometimes your baby might not stop crying even after doing everything to him to make him comfortable. He wants you to hold him in his arms for a few minutes. Or he may tell you to hold and walk with him so that he feels safe. So pls be patient at this time and hold him tight. He may not leave you for more than half an hour. It will take one hour for him to settle down or to be normal again. So you have to be calm and patient and just try giving him his favorite toys, and snacks, or just play with him.

Practical Reasons why babies cry at Night:-

1. Discomfort:- A very common reason for babies to wake up at night or don’t feel like sleeping is due to an uncomfortable environment around them. If their bed, blankets, pillows, and other stuff on which they sleep are not soft or comfortable, they don’t like to sleep on it. Insect bites, loud noise, light in the room, very dark room, wet blankets, hard and pointed toys all over the bed, and hot or too cold room temperatures can also cause discomfort and disturb your baby’s sleep. Always keep your baby’s bed clean and neat. Place a soft toy beside your baby if he has a habit of sleeping with his favorite toys around him. A mosquito net is a must for people living in an environment where there are so many mosquitoes.    

2. Hunger:- Newborn babies often feel hungry every 2 to 3 hours and that’s why they wake up in between nights for their feedings. This goes on till you stop breastfeeding or formula feeding at night completely. You can stop breastfeeding after your baby turns 2 years old. Increase the quantity of milk intake by your baby before going to bed so that he can sleep for at least 4 to 5 hours straight. 
3. Gas:- Colic in babies is very common during the initial months after their birth. Since their digestive system is very weak and slowly developing, your baby might face stomach issues like colic, constipation, bloating, etc. You can prevent gas in newborn babies by helping them to burp after every feed. In toddlers, you can prevent colic and constipation by adding more fiber foods to their diet like apples, bananas, pears, liquids, beans, and buttermilk. To get relief from gas place your baby on his stomach and lightly massage his back. Full body Massage is the best treatment for babies suffering from constipation and gas.
4. Soiled diapers:- Newborn Babies poop a lot throughout the day and night. Some babies don’t poop at night at all and that’s great news for a new mom. Because no one likes to change dirty diapers at midnight. But still, if they poop at midnight, they feel very uncomfortable and start crying. Babies like to be clean and fresh all the time. Thatswhy it is important to change their clothes before and after bed and also after a few feeds as the milk or the saliva from their mouth can make your baby’s clothes wet and dirty. And please change your baby’s diaper after every 3 hours. Don’t wait till he poops in the diaper. Too much Urine in the diaper can also cause irritation and discomfort to your baby.
5. Sickness:- Babies who are ill, don’t get proper sleep, or have disturbed sleep due to fever, headaches, cold, cough, and body pains. Though you try to give them paracetamol for fever and other medicine, it will take at least 3 to 5 days for your baby to cure completely. So you have to make up your mind that these 3 to 5 days your baby is going to suffer a lot and you also have to be awake with him to take care of him. You can control or ease his symptoms by taking proper care and giving proper diet and medication as advised by the doctor. Don’t try to treat your baby at home.  The immune system of babies and toddlers is very weak and their medication dosage will be changing according to their weight and age. So rush to the doctor whenever your baby gets a fever.
6. Change in her routine:- If you’re planning a long trip with your baby to a different country, your in-law’s home, a friend’s home, or a hotel then make sure that there is a proper environment for your baby to sleep peacefully. Any change in your baby’s routine throughout the day and night will make your baby feel very uncomfortable and tired and he doesn’t like to sleep in a new place. Carry all the things necessary for your baby’s bedtime to make him feel at home. Carry his blankets, pillows, toys with which he sleeps, nightdress, and storybooks that you read for him at night when you are at your home.
7. Too hot or too cold room temperature:- Newborn babies love warm or normal room temperatures. Since you have to keep your baby warm for 6 months, you have to adjust and sleep with him in a normal room temperature room with no AC or cooler or you can make him warm by covering his body with a wrapper and keeping him in full and warm clothes. Too much wrapping or too many clothes on his body can make your baby sweat a lot and make him uncomfortable hence disturbing his sleep. If you switch on the air conditioner then make sure you turn it off at midnight or when the room becomes cold.
8. Bad dreams:- Just like we adults dream at night, babies also do. They are little humans and they experience everything that we experience like fear, stress, loneliness, and bad dreams. You may have seen your baby smiling or crying softly during sleep. This is due to dreams. Just like us, they also see good and bad dreams. Good dreams make them smile and bad dreams make them cry. Sometimes they are so much afraid of bad dreams that they cry out very loud. What you need to do is comfort him and put him back to sleep. Hug and sleep with him or sing a song and swaddle. Don’t do this every day, do it only when he is afraid or else your baby will take advantage of it and force you to do it every day.
9. Uncomfortable clothes:- Babies grow very fast and their clothes size also changes after every few months. Many clothes don’t fit him or become too tight as he grows. But we moms, like their little clothes so much that we want our baby to wear them till they become dirty or too tight. Remember that babies like to wear soft, loose, and comfortable clothes so that they can move their hands and legs free to play. One thing that I noticed in my baby is he doesn’t like T-shirts at all. He always preferred front open-button shirts as they are easy to wear and remove. Since my baby’s head was a little bit big, t-shirts caused him discomfort whenever I try to remove them. Up to 6 months of age you can make them wear full clothing from head to toe to keep them warm. But in summer make sure you buy short sleeves or sleeveless cotton shirts and shorts for your baby after 6 months of age and in winter buy some warm clothes, socks, gloves, and a head cap.
10. Separation Anxiety:- Newborns and toddlers have the fear of being away from you. They always want you to be close to them when they are sleeping. If they wake up and don’t find you next to them, they will start crying. This goes on until your child becomes a little big or until you train him to sleep in his room alone. My baby is 3 years old now and he still wants me by his side while sleeping. If I am not there he will wake up and start crying and search for me in every room. If you have work and want to wake up from bed, then keep a pillow by your baby’s side so that he may feel that you are still there by his side.
11. Teething:- This is one of the toughest phases of your baby’s life. Every tooth in your baby’s mouth comes out with so much pain and irritation that babies chew things to feel comfortable. But at night when they are asleep there is nothing around them to chew or to ease their pain, that is why they start crying or demand feeding as feeding from a bottle or breastmilk can make them a little bit comfortable. You can also give a sipper during the teething phase to chew but I recommend not to use it as your baby will get used to it and it may also cause colic in babies as your baby will be gulping down air from the sipper as the sipper doesn’t contain any food item or milk. You can introduce teething toys at this moment which are now easily available in the market.
12. Overtired:- We adults, when we are over exhausted, want to sleep continuously for 3 to 4 hours without any disturbance. The same happens with your baby too when he is fully tired due to playing a lot for long hours, had a long journey in a car, train, or flight, or has gone to a mall, another house, or park. Babies and toddlers get tired very easily. Newborns get tired when they had a constipated stool, hurt themselves by falling from the bed, cot, or chair, have gone out to the park for a walk, played continuously for 1 to 2 hours, and had disturbed sleep at night or in the daytime.

How to calm a crying Baby?

  • Breastfeed him whenever he cries.
  • Change the diaper if it’s too heavy or dirty.
  • Distract him with some interesting things, sounds, or toys.
  • Swaddle him in your arms.
  • Sleep close to him.
  • Give them a goodnight kiss and make them feel comfortable.
  • Give them some water if he is thirsty.
  • Change his clothes if they are wet, smelly, or too warm.
  • Adjust the room temperature to normal.
  • Cover him with a blanket if he feels cold.
  • Remove the blanket if he is feeling hot.
  • Hug him tight.
  • If the room is too dark, switch on the bed light.

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