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8 Reasons For Baby Crying And How To Soothe Them

8 Reasons For Baby Crying And How To Soothe Them

Whether you are a first time mother or have just had your third child, there is nothing more distressing than hearing a newborn baby crying for an extended period of time. Not only can this sound make you feel inadequate, but it can also make it impossible to perform daily necessities such as sleeping. Fortunately, scientific and anecdotal evidence have combined to offer proven techniques for soothing a cranky baby. Keep in mind that if these tips do not work, it is a good idea to visit a doctor to determine if something medical is at fault for your newborn’s discomfort.

1. A Tired Baby Is A Cranky Baby

One of the primary reasons that babies cry is because they are overly tired and need to take a nap. This can happen as a result of being overstimulated by too much activity or attention. Alternatively, their sleep schedule may not be properly regulated yet, especially if they are more than six weeks old. In fact, experts indicate that you need to begin sleep training at the six week mark if you want your infant to be well-rested. Failure to develop an adequate sleep routine can lead to an exorbitant amount of crying, both now and as they get older. Therefore, the best way to soothe this particular problem is by putting them down for scheduled naps.

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2. A Baby Crying Frequently May Be So Hungry They Have Become Hangry

Studies have found that people of any age who are hungry are less likely to be happy, and their impatience and anger spikes alongside their hunger. For example, judges make fewer favorable rulings as they get closer to lunchtime, which highlights the detrimental impact of becoming hangry. This happens despite the fact that adults understand how hunger works, so imagine what it is like for a baby to experience increasing levels of hunger without any relief. With this in mind, it is important to offer your newborn the opportunity to nurse or drink formula when they start crying. This is particularly important if they do not tend to finish each meal and instead ask for smaller but more frequent feedings.

3. Babies Cry When They Are Feeling Under The Weather

If your baby has eaten and slept recently, their cries could be an indicator that something is physically wrong. In some cases, this is nothing more than teething, but you should keep an eye out for symptoms such as constipation, fever, diarrhea and vomiting. Experts recommend seeking medical assistance for any baby under three months who has a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. As your child moves past the newborn stage, they will be better equipped to deal with a fever up to 104 degrees without needing medical attention. You can place a cool damp cloth on their forehead to help reduce their fever and make them feel more relaxed.

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4. Their Diaper Needs To Be Changed

Aside from food and sleep, a dirty diaper is by far the most common reason that a baby will cry. The easiest way to soothe this problem is by paying close attention to your baby’s signals so that you can change their diaper right away. Do not forget that diaper rash can develop if you wait too long, and this will cause your baby to feel additional distress. You can use lotions and creams that contain petroleum jelly or zinc oxide to help soothe and prevent diaper rash, and it is also a good idea to let a child with a rash go diaper-free for a while after each bowel movement.

5. Colic And Other Stomach Problems Make A Baby Miserable

A crying baby who does not appear to have any reason to feel upset could be trying to clue you in to some stomach issues. Colic is well-known to cause babies to cry practically non-stop for an extended period of time, but this is not the only type of stomach problem that can lead to this type of behavior. Abdominal pain can be brought on by colic, gas, constipation, acid reflux, an intestinal blockage, lactose intolerance, a stomach virus or a milk allergy.

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Be sure to pay close attention to whether or not your baby cries a lot after eating, and note any patterns such as an unusual amount of crying after having something specific. If you suspect that they are suffering from gas, you can do a light abdominal massage or move their legs in a bicycle motion while they are lying on their back. This should help them pass the gas, which will make them happy enough to stop crying. A potential allergy can be diagnosed with the assistance of your family pediatrician.

6. They Simply Need To Be Held

No matter what some people might say about spoiling your baby by holding them too often, research indicates that this is not actually possible. In fact, humans of all ages need regular attention and physical contact for good mental health. Your baby will not begin noticing cause and effect patterns until they are at least six months old, so go ahead and lavish attention on them during the newborn stage because this will help instead of hinder them later in life. As an added bonus, being held will typically soothe babies enough for them to stop crying.

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7. The Temperature Is Uncomfortable

If you feel too hot or cold, you can walk over to the thermostat and adjust it. However, a baby is at the mercy of their environment and can feel miserable if they are overheated or chilled. To check for this possibility, you should feel your baby’s stomach. If it seems hot or cold, make the necessary adjustments. Alternatively, you can rely on new technology such as an electronic patch to monitor their body temperature so that they do not even need to get the point of crying before you become aware that a thermostat change is needed. You will also want to keep your baby’s room at approximately 64 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius) while they are sleeping. In most cases, babies will feel comfortable wearing only one more layer of clothing than adults, so do not overdo it.

8. Something Minor Is Troubling Them

Very minor inconveniences that most adults can merely ignore could cause your baby to become extremely unhappy. A prime example is that some babies will cry because of a clothing tag, the amount of light in the room or the type of fabric that they are wearing. Additionally, a common problem is getting a single hair wrapped too tightly around a finger or toe. To an adult, this would not be a very big deal, but to a baby, it can actually cut off their circulation. Look for any small things that could be bothering your baby, and take corrective action to help soothe away their tears.

No parent will ever be able to magically relax their baby on the first try every single time they cry, but learning how to utilize all of the previously listed techniques should definitely be on your must-know list. After all, having these tips at your arsenal should make it easier to identify and soothe your baby’s sudden bursts of unhappiness as they occur.

Featured photo credit: Morgan via flic.kr

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Published on March 13, 2019

What Makes A Great Place to Work Whilst Pregnant

What Makes A Great Place to Work Whilst Pregnant

Among women who had their first child in the early 1960s, just 44% worked at all during pregnancy. The latest figures show that 66% of mothers who gave birth to their first child between 2006 and 2008 worked during their pregnancy.[1]  It also showed that about eight-in-ten pregnant workers (82%) continued in the workplace until within one month of their first birth which has vastly increased from 35%. It is clear to see form the statical trends that more women are choosing to continue working through, and late into, pregnancy.

Unlike other developed world countries, the USA does not mandate any paid leave for new mothers under federal law,[2] though some individual employers make that accommodation and it is mandated by a handful of individual states. Finding what makes a great workplace whilst pregnant can alleviate stress and provide more stability for you and your family. 

In this article, you will discover exactly the best places to work whilst pregnant.

How Difficult Is It to Work Whilst Pregnant?

Many people strive to find and attain good jobs. For pregnant women, however, that process is often especially challenging. After all, you’ll face extra obstacles that are unique to expectant mothers.

If you are pregnant and need a job, then you’re definitely not alone. You are also not alone if you’re already employed and want to find a new job that is more family-friendly. Changing jobs while pregnant is something that many women consider, especially when they realise that their current positions may not be suitable for pregnancy or offer the benefits or flexibility that they’ll soon need. 

Getting a job while pregnant may not be the easiest thing in the world to do, but it is possible.

You can look for employment opportunities that don’t require too much physical exertion and that won’t cause you much emotional stress. Also, look for jobs that come with the chance to work flexible hours, offer good medical benefits, allow you to take time off as needed, and don’t require a long commute. In addition, it’s obviously wise to consider avoiding jobs that may expose you to toxins, people with communicable illnesses, or other physical hazards.

The Pre-Natal Mamma’s Needs

During pregnancy, there are many mental and physiological changes that a woman will go through. In understanding those changes, it is more clear which types of jobs and workplaces are more suited to you as a pregnant woman. 

During pregnancy, the birth of your baby and the postnatal period, changes in the hormones in your body can have an effect on your emotions during pregnancy. These hormones and the changes can cause joy, fear, surprise and anxiety all of which can be assisted with necessary support and talking. 

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The physiological changes are more varied according to each trimester:

1st Trimester (0-13 weeks)

In the first few weeks following conception, your hormone levels change significantly. Your uterus begins to support the growth of the placenta and the fetus, your body adds to its blood supply to carry oxygen and nutrients to the developing baby, and your heart rate increases.

These changes accompany many of the pregnancy symptoms, such as fatigue, morning sickness, headaches, and constipation. During the first trimester, the risk of miscarriage is significant.

2nd Trimester (13 – 27 weeks)

While the discomforts of early pregnancy should ease off, there are a few new symptoms to get used to. Common complaints include leg cramps and heartburn. You might find yourself growing more of an appetite, and your weight gain will accelerate. 

3rd Trimester (28 weeks – birth)

Travel restrictions take effect during the third trimester. It’s advised that you stay in relatively close proximity to your doctor or midwife in case you go into labor early. The baby is growing bigger and stronger; the kicks can be quite powerful and your abdomen is becoming larger and heavier.

Stretch marks may develop if they haven’t earlier in the pregnancy. Braxton-Hicks contractions- which are usually perceived as painless tightening can be felt. Lower back pain is very common and there may be more pelvic pressure and with this more frequent urination. 

Swollen legs and feet are very common as are increased fatigue, interrupted sleep and a reduced ability to eat a full meal at one sitting.

4th Trimester (Post birth onwards)

Your baby’s fourth trimester starts from the moment she’s born and lasts until she is three months old. The term is used to describe a period of great change and development in your newborn, as she adjusts to her new world outside your womb. There are many adaptations, recovery and rest that you and your baby need through this trimester whether you have a natural or c-section birth.

All of these considerations need to be in mind when looking to find a great workplace whilst pregnant — whether you’re looking to ask for more support from your current workplace, find a new job or enter employment. 

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Next, let’s look at the factors that would define the opposite; somewhere you shouldn’t look to work whilst pregnant.

How to Spot The Worst Workplaces to Work Whilst Pregnant

1. Non-Negotiable Heavy Lifting

Do you have to lift, push, bend, shove, and load materials all day? If you do, many experts believe you should ask for a job reassignment or quit by the 20th week of pregnancy.

2. Toxic Environments

The list of jobs that involve dangerous substances is miles long. Consider the artist who works with paint and solvents all day, the dry cleaner who breathes in cleaning fumes, the agricultural or horticultural worker who works with pesticides, the photographer who uses toxic chemicals to develop pictures, the tollbooth attendant who breathes in car and truck exhaust, or the printer who works with lead substances.

3. Proximity to People with Communicable Illnesses

Working with or exposure to certain bacteria, viruses, or other infectious agents could increase your chances of having a miscarriage, a baby with a birth defect, or other reproductive problems.  Some infections can pass to an unborn baby during pregnancy and cause a miscarriage or birth defect. Infections like seasonal influenza (the flu) and pneumonia can cause more serious illness in pregnant women.

4. Extended Hours of Standing

Cooks, nurses, salesclerks, waiters, police officers, and others, have jobs that keep them on their feet all day. This can be difficult for a pregnant woman, but it might be downright dangerous for her unborn baby. Studies have found that long hours of standing during the last half of pregnancy disrupt the flow of blood.[3]

Key Factors Creating a Great Workplace whilst Pregnant

1. Flexibility

You might feel tired as your body works overtime to support your pregnancy — and resting during the workday can be tough. Having an employer or job that provide care and is understanding to your needs is hugely beneficial.

A compassionate and empathetic employer will understand morning sickness; they will facilitate changes in working hours to accommodate your energy and assist with the smells from the work kitchen. 

They will also enable you to remain flexible to snack as and when you want to – crackers and other bland foods can be lifesavers when you feel nauseated. Nad eating small frequent meals are similarly saving you as your meal quantity decreases.

2. Compassion

More employers are learning that the idea that pregnant women are willing and necessary contributors to the economy and are capable of adding long-term value to their organizations. 

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Employers that follow good practice in maternity can improve the experience of pregnant employees and new mothers and encourage them to return to work following maternity leave.

A good relationship between a pregnant employee and her line manager is essential to the successful reintegration of the employee following maternity leave.

3. Stress Reduced

Stress on the job can sap the energy you need to care for yourself and your baby.

To minimize workplace stress, take control. Make daily to-do lists and prioritise your tasks. Consider what you can delegate to someone else — or eliminate. 

Talk it out. Share frustrations with a supportive co-worker, friend or loved one. 

Practice relaxation techniques, such as breathing slowly or imagining yourself in a calm place. Try a prenatal yoga class, as long as your health care provider says it’s OK.

4. Adaptable

As your pregnancy progresses, everyday activities such as sitting and standing can become uncomfortable. Remember those short, frequent breaks to combat fatigue? Moving around every few hours also can ease muscle tension and help prevent fluid buildup in your legs and feet. 

Using an adjustable chair with good lower back support can make long hours of sitting much easier — especially as your weight and posture change. If your chair isn’t adjustable, use a small pillow or cushion to provide extra support for your back.

Elevate your legs to decrease swelling. If you must stand for long periods of time, put one of your feet up on a footrest, low stool or box. Switch feet every so often and take frequent breaks.

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Wear comfortable shoes with good arch support. Consider wearing support or compression hose, too.

5. Financial Support

Financial strain is one of the leading causes of peri & post natal depression. Employers can support employees by offering them benefits beyond the statutory minimum, for example training mechanisms to help them cope with balancing work and family commitments. 

The employer should conduct a performance review with the employee prior to her maternity leave to boost her confidence and encourage her to consider how parenthood and work will fit together.

Key Take-Aways

If you’re working while you’re pregnant, you need to know your rights to antenatal care, maternity leave and benefits. 

If you have any worries about your health while at work, talk to your doctor, midwife or occupational health nurse. You can also talk to your employer, union representative, or someone in the personnel department (HR) where you work. 

Once you tell your employer that you’re pregnant, they should do a risk assessment with you to see if your job poses any risks to you or your baby. If there are any risks, they have to make reasonable adjustments to remove them. This can include changing your working hours. 

If you work with chemicals, lead or X-rays, or in a job with a lot of lifting, it may be illegal for you to continue to work. In this case, your employer must offer you alternative work on the same terms and conditions as your original job. If there’s no safe alternative, your employer should suspend you on full pay (give you paid leave) for as long as necessary to avoid the risk.

Look for employment opportunities that don’t require too much physical exertion and that won’t cause you much emotional stress. Also, look for jobs that come with the chance to work flexible hours, offer good medical benefits, allow you to take time off as needed, and don’t require a long commute. 

Your current employer may need to offer you different types of work or a change to your working hours. If your employer can’t get rid of the risks (for example by finding other suitable work without any reduction in pay for you), they should offer you suspension on full pay.

Featured photo credit: Alicia Petresc via unsplash.com

Reference

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