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Baby Crying - could it be due to boredom?

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

We all know that babies cry when they are hungry, tired, uncomfortable or in pain.

But did you actually know that they can cry because they are simply bored?

Yep, babies can get bored as early as newborns!

Distract your baby by encouraging her or him to respond to the sound of a squeaky toy, changing scenery, standing up & walking around rather than sitting. If they are bored, they will settle quickly using these methods.

Try it & watch your baby glare in amazement as to what is going on.

See your baby take in these new experiences & help develop their brains into exploring rather than crying.

Obviously, if distraction & engagement doesn't work to help your baby's crying, there is something else that is bothering them.

I have 3 really important tools that I use in the clinic to examine & engage with babies:

1. Engagement

I usually position myself face to face with babies & have a chat with them. Just me & the baby, we get to know each other. I usually start off by saying their name, asking them a bit about themselves, tell them a bit about me. I might seem crazy speaking to babies, but hey, it's one of the best parts of my day!

I'm basically gaining consent from the baby that it's ok to examine them. They get to trust me & know that I'm safe since their parents are their No. 1 safe-haven!

2. Monty the Manta Ray

Full of colours & contrasting patterns to provide babies with visual stimulation. The different textures & crinkling sounds help to spark interest & attention. Monty also helps me to engage babies to test them for pain, posture, visual attention & neuroregulation or a baby's threshold for self-settling. You have no idea how much Monty helps me work out!

3. Rattle bell

Amazing to gain attention. It also encourages babies to avert their gaze left & right if used for visual tracking as well as encouraging babies to turn their heads from side to side. It is fantastic at helping to resettle babies who can't handle being examined.

So it helps keep them happier & more comfortable for longer.

Just a little hint - you will never see a great Paediatric practitioner without one of these!

I couldn't perform my work without any of these tools.

If you come to see us at Milk early parenting support, you will get to know Monty the Manta Ray & Rattle Bell pretty well. Parents are amazed to see what their babies are capable of when shown how to use these tools to help play, interact, bond & settle their baby.

Examining babies for me is critical to work out their strengths, as well as limitations.

It also helps me to work out if there are any physical issues that the baby has that are impacting their ability to breast, bottle feed, sleep comfortably & be happy in general. I also get to work out the best strategies that will apply to the individual baby that is more likely to work the best.

As I explain to parents, my job is to get to the bottom of their baby's feeding & sleeping issues of concern, so that I can help families achieve rapid & effective results. There is no generic or one size fits all approach here!

So food for thought, if you are a parent with a little babe, consider that he or she may not just be crying due to hunger or tiredness, your baby may also be bored.

Don't be shy about distracting your baby's cries. It will help you to work out what your baby does & doesn't enjoy doing.

From birth, infants have brief periods of being awake & alert, where they are taking it all in. This is the best time, to interact, engage & play with your baby.

When infants are 3-4 weeks of age, their periods of being awake & alert, occur more frequently & for longer periods. Usually up to approximately 10 minutes duration each time.

As a general rule of thumb, infants under the age of 6 months, struggle to remain awake for longer than 1.5-2 hours minutes at a time from the beginning of their feed. The younger the baby, the less awake time they tolerate. As always, your baby is your greatest teacher - spend time interacting with your baby to work in with their own natural biological rhythm.

Another tip, your baby LOVES YOU!


Your baby doe not need a tonne of toys to know you love them - 2-3 is enough!

They NEED you to interact & engage with them.

Babies love their parents & carers to engage with them during play - this is the way YOU best support growing their brains!

Just like a healthy garden, if you water it regularly, fertilise it & expose it to sunlight, you will reap the benefits of a healthy garden - a child's brain is no different!


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Hi, thanks for stopping by!

At MILK early parenting support, I strive to be your go-to source for all your parenting needs – from pre-birth to post-birth. I'm a passionate and experienced International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). I love empowering expectant and new parents with all the knowledge and support they need to make the right decisions for their family.

Whether it’s helping you find the best feeding and sleeping strategies, or ensuring that your baby is getting the nutrition they need for optimal growth, I'm here to make sure that you and your baby get the best start in life.

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