Babies are hard to read. And by "hard" I mean pretty near impossible sometimes. It's easy to tell what makes your baby happy, but when they're less than happy, figuring out the cause can be tricky. There are several ways your baby may be trying to tell you they're frustrated, but figuring out the cause behind it might be harder than you think.
As Baby Center noted, babies don't throw tantrums until they're around 12 to 18 months old. That being said, their frustrations can start a lot sooner. Even a newborn may feel frustrated when they're trying to communicate that they're hungry or overly tired. Older babies can get frustrated when they're unable to communicate what they want, or when they're unable to get to an object they desire.
Your baby may have an otherwise happy and calm temperament, and suddenly have a very out-of-character bout of crying. If they're healthy, fed, and clean, chances are they may just be frustrated about something they're unable to achieve. We all have days when we are "touchier" than usual, why shouldn't babies? Check into a few of these signs before assuming your baby is anything but frustrated, and then teach them the steps needed to overcome it.
1. They Cry Or Fuss When They Can't Reach A Goal
The predominate way babies get frustrated is when they can't achieve something they want. For example, before your baby is mobile, they'll see an object they want, but are unable to reach it. According to Baby Center, their frustration is usually in the form of crying or seeming overly agitated.
2. They Seem Overstimulated
Over-stimulation is another way babies can get frustrated. If they've had too much activity or playing without rest or quiet, Today's Parent noted that many babies will appear agitated and, in some cases, seem to shut down.
3. They Missed A Nap Or Haven't Slept Well
Although each baby will sleep differently, the general rule of thumb is that babies need a lot of sleep. And when they don't get sleep, they'll get cranky. According to the Baby Sleep Site, most newborns to 3 month olds need at least 10 hours of sleep per night with four to five naps during the day. Older babies need a lot of sleep too, but their naps will decrease as they sleep longer at night.
4. They're Breaking Their Usual Routine
If your baby seems to be having an "off" day, they're likely frustrated about something. Some babies will refuse to nurse when they're teething or are overly distracted, while others won't sleep well or will just seem grumpy. Frustration is always a sign that something deeper is going on.
5. They're On The Verge Of A New Milestone
Baby Center noted that if your baby is particularly eager to reach new goals, they'll likely get very frustrated when they're on the verge of crawling but just can't master the first steps, or when they can pull themselves up but just can't reach the toy they're trying to get.