Why Do Babies Cry At Night? (Reasons & Tips)

Hearing your baby cry at the wee hours might worry you. Most immediate thought is something’s wrong. These moments you need to keep calm and not overact. Learning the reason behind why babies cry at night can help you maintain your composure.

Why do babies cry at night? Crying is actually babies’ way to communicate to their caretakers what they need, and there are many reasons why they cry at night. The primary reason why they cry is that they would like to get your attention. As a parent, you have to be attentive to your precious baby’s cries, and you must also learn to interpret what is needed. Knowing the potential reasons why babies cry allows you to respond to their needs quickly, especially when it is in the middle of the night.

A prolonged crying or if your baby cries a number of times at night might disrupt your sleep. Though sleepy, you will surely make the necessary action to soothe your baby. For you to respond to the cries appropriately, you have to know the cause of the cries. In this article, you will learn the reasons behind the nightly cries of your baby.                                 

Reasons Why Babies Cry At Night

Here are the 8 reasons why your baby tends to disturb your deep sleep:

  1. There is a need to change your baby’s diaper
  2. Your baby feels hungry
  3. The environment is noisy
  4. Your baby is sick or in pain
  5. Your baby needs a burp
  6. Your baby wants to be held close to you
  7. The weather is too cold or too hot
  8.  Your baby is not comfortable

1) There is a need to change your baby’s diaper

As you’re sleeping, you wouldn’t be able to notice if your baby pooped or the diaper is already leaking. However, your baby will surely disturb your sound sleep to tell you that there is a need to change his diaper.  Also, when your baby is not comfortable with his wet diaper, crying will be a sign of irritation. One way to avoid your baby’s crying because of the diaper is to change the diaper before you sleep, and at a scheduled time during the night.

2) Your baby feels hungry

Your baby’s stomach is still small, a reason for your baby frequent feeding needs at around 2-3 hours interval. At night, you would hear him cry to remind you that he already needs milk because he is hungry. To prevent him from crying at night because of this reason, you have to monitor his feeding time by giving him milk before he cries.

It is good to be observant. When you sense that your baby is frequently moving, and is sucking on the fist or smacking on the lips, prepare yourself for the feeding time.

3) The environment is noisy

A noisy environment will definitely disturb your baby’s sleep, and so be prepared for cries as a result of the distractions. Any strange sound, especially loud ones, can cause disturbance to your baby. Avoid chatting with someone in the room. Turn off or put in low volume any gadget or appliance that will disturb his sleep.

It is good to take away anything that would awake your baby.

4) Your baby is sick or in pain

Your baby will cry when he is not feeling well or is in pain. The cry of a sick baby can easily be differentiated from the usual cries, so be attentive when to the type of cries.

When the baby has a cold or fever, expect that there will be crying moments at night. The best thing to do in this situation is to follow the medication prescribed by the doctor. Your baby will get well soon and will no longer be disturbed in his sleep time.

5) Your baby needs a burp

If you are wondering why your baby still cries after feeding him, he probably needs to burp. 

Breastfeeding and bottle-feeding can cause your baby to have air in the stomach, which is also known as colic. Colic is characterized by an inconsolable crying that lasts for around three hours three times a week for three or more consecutive weeks. You can deal with this stomach pain by putting your baby on his back and moving his feet in a bicycling motion. 

Remember to make him burp after feeding even if it is night time.

6) Your baby wants to be held

Babies love cuddles. They like to be in their mothers’ arms, especially during the first few months of their life. By nature, they love to be held so they could smell you and listen to your heartbeat. 

When your baby cries in the middle of the night, and you see his hands stretched, this means that he wants to be held. This provides your baby with a sense of comfort and security.

7) The weather is too cold or too hot

Babies are used to warm temperatures, especially newborns. So when they are exposed to an environment that is too hot or too cold for them, crying would be their response. This means that they don’t like what they feel so they tend to protest. 

This problem can be easily prevented by using linens to keep your baby warm. Check for adequate ventilation of your room to maintain the right temperature for your baby.

8) Your baby is not comfortable

One of the reasons why your baby cannot sleep is because of discomfort. Check if your baby’s clothes are too tight or there is something in it that irritates him. Your baby might also not like the bottle that you offered or he is uncomfortable with his sleeping nest. 

Tips on How To Deal With Your Crying Baby at Night

Here are some tips to prevent your baby from crying at night, and other ways to soothe your baby rightly:

  • Swaddle your baby with a receiving blanket to make him feel warm and comforted
  • Co-sleep with your baby
  • Check out all the garments to be used by your baby before sleeping
  • Play calming music throughout the night
  • Do not overfeed your baby at night time
  • Encourage sucking his thumb to calm his nerves
  • Soothe with a rhythmic sound like “Shhhh..shhhh..shhhh”
  • Sing a lullaby to make him hear your voice
  • Request your partner to take part in soothing your baby
  • Always control your temper as you deal with your crying baby


Crying is your baby’s way to express himself. As parents, knowing the meaning of the cries help. Knowing the reason allows you to address the concerns and soothe your baby right away. This will also lessen your stress when you hear your baby crying. Learning how to manage crying moments at night will allow you to save your energy, reduce frustration, and enjoy a fulfilling parenting experience.

Related Questions

How much crying is considered normal for my baby? Crying is normal among babies, and the length of the cry differs from baby to baby. There are babies who cry for a short time, and there are those who cry for a number of hours. It is still normal for a baby to cry up to 5 hours a day with an average around 3.5 hours. The cries will lessen as a child gets older. There is actually a period called the Purple Crying period, which means P for the Peak of Crying, U for Unexpected, R for Resists Soothing, P for Pain-like face, L for Long-lasting, and E for the evening.

What are the effects of too much crying for babies? It is normal for children to cry but crying for long stretches of time is a cause of worry. Prolonged crying can lead the baby to have brain damage, decreased emotional, psychosocial, and intellectual development, and harmful physiological changes. With this, you should not let your baby cry for a long period because it is harmful to his health and wellbeing. You must soothe your baby as soon as possible to avoid these outcomes from happening.


Babies, baby, child care, Child development


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