A crying baby is never funny. Right? Not necessarily so! Plenty of babies cry for really silly reasons, at least, they seem silly to mom and dad (and non-parents, of course). There are even viral videos and memes about babies who cry for ridiculous reasons—particularly older toddlers, who often have a strange sense of what constitutes injustice!
And while crying babies are often an annoyance to those who don’t have kids (and even parents themselves), it’s usually important to figure out why a baby is crying before you can determine what to do about it! There are hungry cries, tired cries, pain cries, and plenty more that inspires tots to start screeching, among others. But then sometimes, it’s hard to figure out why the baby’s screaming his head off at all.
Once parents start paying closer attention, they may find that their babies are crying for all sorts of weird reasons, and there’s nothing in the baby books that cover it! Of course, every baby is different, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t at least a few things that tend to make them all cry. Here are 13 funny reasons why they’ll cry, plus seven ways moms can try and stop the tears.
20 Baby Poots Create Panic
Newborn babies, in particular, are likely to startle themselves by passing gas. Of course, the older babies get, the less surprising sudden poots are. But in general, newborns startle at even the slightest noise. That means any bodily function—whether it be a fart, hiccups, a burp, or an involuntary squeak or murmur—can cause a crying jag that takes a while to recover from. And once the baby gets worked up, mom will have to snuggle, rock, and maybe feed him to help get over it. Of course, after it’s over, it’s okay to laugh—at least until next time baby scares herself by passing gas.
19 Feeling Like Falling
With newborns, parents often recognize the instinctual startle reflex (the Moro reflex) when their tots feel troubled. But sometimes babies “startle” for no reason at all, and suddenly they’ll throw their arms in the air, grasping at nothing to try and prevent a fall that isn’t happening. Sure, it can be sort of amusing for parents, because we think our baby is imagining something that’s not happening. But in the early days, it’s just an overactive reflex to many different scenarios, including the sensation adults get of “falling” while falling asleep. In many cases, there’s not much we can do about this one—it’s something babies have to outgrow, but something that can happen to grownups too.
18 Big Scary Something
You might think that the space mobile you bought for the baby’s nursery is adorable, or that the poster on the wall is totally sweet. But from your young baby’s perspective, things aren’t always what they seem. Shortly after birth, babies have limited vision, so they can’t see much beyond the distance between mom’s face and theirs when they’re in her arms. That means things that are farther away can seem blurry, dark, or otherwise distorted. This can result in younger and even older babies becoming scared and thinking there’s something creepy there that isn’t really. It will seem silly to see your baby crying at a teddy bear, but it can be scary to them!
17 Milk-Makers Moved Too Far Away
Young babies want to stay close to mom, and for good reason. Our instincts serve to protect our babies and keep them near, so even setting your baby down so you can shower might cause a meltdown of epic proportions. Even with older babies, proximity to mom often means safety and, if she’s breastfeeding, easy access to food. Therefore, it may seem silly that the baby cries when mom steps away, or when she’s simply across the room, but to the baby, it’s a big deal to think that your food and source of comfort might be leaving!
16 The Quiet Won’t Quit
Most times, new moms try to keep things quiet for their babies. After all, we want to make sure no loud noises startle them and mess with their brand-new sleep cycles. But for some tiny tots, the lack of noise can cause discomfort. It might seem amusing to parents, but babies are accustomed to plenty of noise within the womb—fluid sloshing around, mom’s heartbeat, and murmur-like noises from the outside. For that reason, many babies are happier with white noise, such as from a machine or an app. Some babies even want louder noises like a vacuum or a fan set on high—an amusing concept to adults who enjoy quiet.
15 Woke Up To Wet
As many new parents have no doubt learned, there’s rarely a good reason to wake a sleeping baby. The thing is, many babies simply can’t stay asleep if they pee while napping. That could mean sudden crying and upset because they feel something warm and wet all over their diaper—which is kind of funny to parents, because they’re effectively waking themselves up. And while most parents wouldn’t wake a baby to change them—because a woken baby is a cranky one—we’re not going to put a soggy-diapered baby back to bed without a bit of cleanup. Fortunately, the crying usually stops once the baby is in a dry diaper, but naptime might be ruined already.
14 Don’t Want Dad
Another common occurrence with newborns and younger babies is crying for mom. But some infants take it a step further and become absolutely inconsolable when handed off to dad. They may recognize dad and his smells and sounds, but they’re not happy to be in his arms when moms are otherwise available! If the baby nurses, this could be why they’re so resistant to dad—he doesn’t have the food! And sometimes, the crying begins when the baby starts rooting around and only finds dad’s hairy nipples, while mom’s meal-makers are nowhere to be found.
13 Too Hungry Tummy
We’ve all seen the YouTube videos of older babies and toddlers trying to eat while struggling to stay awake. As cruel as it seems, we grown-ups find this scenario quite amusing. It’s the ultimate battle of wills: what’s more important, food or sleep? For babies, both are often critical—hence the crying when babies get too hungry. But lest you think we’re talking about hungry babies desperately crying for a bottle, we just mean babies who are so impatient to eat that they can’t wait for mom to hand them a spoon, or babies who try to find their own ways of feeding themselves instead of waiting around for mom or dad to serve up a plate.
12 Slipping Into Sleep
Another funny reason babies cry is that they’ve gotten too tired. The thing is, this one is almost an ageless occurrence—everyone from new infants to grownups cry when they get stressed out and overtired. And plenty of toddlers and preschoolers get absolutely cranky when they’re sleepy, often crying until they run out of energy to continue. This is a scenario that’s sometimes amusing to parents, especially when babies are crying as if in protest while mom or dad is rocking them to sleep. Fortunately, it’s a short-lived tantrum in most cases, since throwing too much of a fuss takes a lot of energy.
11 Disappearing Act Drama
Babies of all ages are “guilty” of this: freaking out the moment mom leaves their sight. But sometimes, mom only has to move a far enough distance away before babies begin to worry that she’s gone forever. And of course, we all know that this need to be on top of mom at all times doesn’t go away any time soon—as evidenced by all the children following us to the bathroom or sticking their hands under the door. It can be amusing to parents that their babies are so particular about keeping mom or dad in their line of sight—but it’s enough to make a tot start to cry.
10 Pacifier Pulling
Whether your tot keeps their pacifier for a couple of months or a number of years, it’s likely that they have a special relationship with it. It probably helps them relax, de-stress, and get to sleep. But some babies mess with their own happiness by popping their pacifiers out of their mouths. This can be endlessly entertaining to parents because their infants will instantly start fussing when their pacifier pops out, only to flail around with it in their tiny hand. And while your baby implores you to replace their paci, you’ll probably be giggling over the fact that they have no clue they’ve done it to themselves.
9 Mooching Off Mom
If you’re the mom of older kids, you already know this classic story. Mom feeds her kids, they either eat a bit or throw the food on the floor—maybe both. And after she’s done taking care of everyone else, mom sits down with a plate of food that’s hopefully still lukewarm (but probably not). The moment she’s about to take a bite, a tiny human arrives and demands a taste. It doesn’t matter if it’s a plate full of the food the recently refused to touch—if mom is eating it, they must eat it, too. This is even true with babies who don’t have teeth yet—if it’s good for mom, then it’s obviously delicious for babes.
8 Can’t Quite Crawl
Babies grow and develop so fast, it seems like they’re doing something new every day. But for some babies, things aren’t happening fast enough. Older infants may recognize that grownups and older kids have the ability to move faster and farther than babies can, and this can be frustrating! If your infant has figured out that he can’t crawl or roll to what he wants, he’ll likely turn on the waterworks out of the pure unfairness of it all. At the same time, they lack the skills and strength to crawl to a toy or grab something they want, which is pretty funny to parents.
And 7 Things Moms Can Do About It
7 Swaddling Solves It All
Now that we’ve talked about all the silly reasons babies cry, how about some solutions to those problems? As much as we giggle over the reasons that they cry, no parent wants their baby to feel sad, so we’ve got some strategies to avoid or at least help recover from meltdowns. First, swaddling is often a lifesaver for parents of babies who often “startle” themselves. They feel secure, can’t get their hands free to flop around, and also can’t grasp their paci—of course, this really only works with tiny babies or those who are napping, so maybe swaddling doesn’t quite solve it all.
6 The Scent Of Mom
Another way parents can help reduce crying instances with babies is by making sure they always feel comforted. If your baby cries because mom (and her milk-makers) has to be away, try leaving a mom-scented shirt or another fabric item. The baby can snuggle with it, or dad can try rubbing it on himself, and that can help make the baby feel better about the separation. Of course, some babies are too smart for this—but for younger infants, it might just work to reduce the tears. It could even help dad get the baby to sleep better or eat if he’s reluctant to.
5 Feed Early And Often
No parent intends to make their baby go hungry, but plenty of crying conundrums can be solved by always having snacks on hand. For younger infants, regular and prompt feedings are key. But for older babies, a diaper bag stocked with finger foods and other snacks is the way to go to prevent those “hangry” times when there’s nothing prepared to nibble on. Of course, there’s really no solution to your baby crying for your food, even if you’ve just fed them—so you’ll probably have to suck it up and just share, mama!
4 Pacifier Perks
If your baby is totally dependent on his or her binky, it’s likely a huge part of your parenting toolkit. You probably have duplicates all over the house, a few in your cart on Amazon, and maybe even one or two in your pocket. But no matter how many you have or how much your tot loves them, a baby who snatches his or her binky out of their own mouth is bound to begin fussing multiple times per day. To prevent this, aim to introduce your babe to a binky that’s not easy to grab—choose a variety that doesn’t have a loop or handle that’s accessible—and cross your fingers! You can even get swaddles these days with pacifier attachments to keep those binkies handy.
3 Rolling After Mom
For older babies who are uber-attached to mom, there’s often nothing to be done when mom has to use the bathroom or take a shower. One thing that made life easier for me was a high chair that was portable. Mine reclined and had straps to contain even the smallest baby, but depending on your tot’s size, that might not be necessary. The concept is simple: pick a high chair with wheels so you can move it easily, then roll baby to whatever room you need to be in. Need to shower, cook dinner, or go potty? Just roll the high chair along and plop the baby in.
2 Regular Nap Time Necessities
While many parents are reluctant to planning their lives around nap time, it can really make a difference for the whole family. Overtired babies are grumpy, irritable, and often cry for no other reason than that they’re exhausted. The solution is simple: make sleep a priority! Stick with your tot’s regular sleep pattern and try to keep from interrupting naps—never wake a sleeping baby, right? Then enjoy far fewer crying jags! Whether your baby is a couple of months or a couple of years old, sufficient sleep is the easiest way to make a happier tot over the long-term.
1 White Noise Or Wind
Although my kids never cared about noise while sleeping (I admit, I got lucky!), many parents swear by white noise machines. And you don’t have to suffer through constant radio-static noises or a fan on full high—now there are apps with imitation fan noises, ocean sounds, rain ambiance, and more! So there’s a background noise that can help baby sleep better and feel calmer overall—it can help mask little noises, too—that won’t annoy mom or dad to no end! Another potential perk is that babies will learn to sleep through a bit of noise—and that’s helpful for getting good rest in the future, too.
Reference: This one mom's experience.