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Why the crying?

I get that Austin might get upset because he’s hungry or needs a new diaper or just has a little gas. Those things would make me want to cry, too. He can’t communicate besides crying or cooing or smiling or just chilling out, so it’s not like he’s going to all of a sudden tell me why he’s teary eyed—not at 3-months-old. Austin is...

0814161047I get that Austin might get upset because he’s hungry or needs a new diaper or just has a little gas. Those things would make me want to cry, too. He can’t communicate besides crying or cooing or smiling or just chilling out, so it’s not like he’s going to all of a sudden tell me why he’s teary eyed—not at 3-months-old.

Austin is a very, very chill and calm baby. He does, however, cry from time to time, but I’m not complaining. The non-crying time far exceeds the crying time.

The temperature and humidity have been brutal lately and there was a day or two where he seemed to be bothered by both, which led to some amount of fussing, but nothing over the top. But the point is: It’s not always clear why he’s upset.

Here are some questions I ask myself/or him when he starts to cry …

Are you crying because you’re gassy/crampy? After he eats we burp him, chest to chest, gently patting him on the back until he burps. Recently he hasn’t been spitting up nearly as much, but still we give him a bit of time before allowing any pressure on the stomach. We’ve got plenty of puke spots on our carpet already. I sometimes bicycle his legs if he’s fussy in my attempt to force a toot out, but my success rate is only about 20 percent. There was a week-plus where he didn’t poop (burp/toot/poop, being able to use these words as an adult and not be looked at weird is a perk of being a parent) but then proceeded to go in the bath the next morning … twice … and once more that same night. He was saving it but wasn’t really cranky because of it.

Are you crying because Graham is crying? Yes, this almost always makes him cry. Hearing his brother cry prompts crying quite often.

Are you crying because your pacifier came out in the middle of the night half a dozen times? Yes, this leads to whining almost 90 percent of the time. The other night I heard the pacifier hit the floor and was on my feet within the second only to be greeted in his room with a slight cry. I popped it back in, rubbed his back and crept out the door, like a ninja.

You mad? When he eats from the boob, he’ll go until he’s satisfied. We’re not sure how many ounces that is, but he never cries after eating from the boob. With the bottle, I’m convinced he could take down 10 ounces and still cry afterwards. As it stands, his bottles are anywhere from 4 to 6 ounces and that is more than adequate. He’ll cry for a minute as I attempt to coax a burp out but then gives up once he realizes that’s all he’s going to get.

I really have to hold you all day? Sometimes it seems this way. I’ll prop him on the Boppy, and he’ll start screaming within seconds. If I put him in his bouncy seat I might get a few minutes to prep dinner, eat lunch or go to the bathroom alone. Sometimes I’ll ask Nolan to make him smile, and he’s usually happy to oblige. Even Graham enjoys lying next to him, just staring.

But every time he cries, I actually ask him why he’s crying, like I’m expecting a miraculous response. Making funny faces or stupid noises usually helps calm him down, but every time he wakes up from a nap he thinks it’s time to eat.

Sometimes, I need to use stall tactics to take his mind off eating. He eats when he wakes up at 7 a.m., again at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. So, the stalling only needs to be for about 45 minutes at the most, which isn’t that difficult.

How do I stop him from crying? He enjoys someone singing him personalized songs, dance movements, (sometimes) going outside for fresh air, the sound of the vacuum, and his car window when it’s halfway down. It’s trial and error. But I’m just thankful he’s a happy little dude.

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