As tiny little newborn humans who are unable to communicate, babies often cry when they are in need of care and comfort. There are multiple reasons babies cry, and most of them are completely normal and natural.
These reasons include:
- A dirty or wet nappy
- Lack of cuddles
- Being too hot
- Being too cold
How To Comfort Your Crying Baby
Although there may be occasions where your baby cannot be comforted (we’ll discuss these later), more often than not one of the following solutions will help:
- If you breastfeed your baby, let them suckle at your breast.
- If your baby is bottle fed, give your baby a sterilized dummy.
- Hold your baby close to you and gently sway or dance. You may also want to try talking to your baby in a soothing manner, or singing.
- Rock your baby in their pram by gently rolling it back and forth.
- Go for a walk.
- Go for a drive.
- Find something for your baby to listen to, such as music or the radio.
- Find something for your baby to look at, like a rattle or other toy.
- Stroke your baby’s back firmly and rhythmically.
- See if a warm bath soothes them. (This may work for some babies but could make the crying worse for others.)
- Ask a pharmacist, GP or health visitor for advice.
Is Your Baby Crying During Feeds?
One of the most common problems for new parents is crying during feeding. That is, the baby crying – although they may drive you to join them. If you breastfeed your baby, you may want to look into improving your baby’s attachment. Ensure that you are sitting in a comfortable position and check your baby’s body is in a straight line; otherwise, they may not be able to swallow. Hold your baby close to you whilst supporting their neck, back and shoulders – but make sure they can still tilt their head back to swallow. Lastly, make sure your baby’s nose is opposite your nipple; this will encourage them to open wide and attach.
If your baby appears to attach but is still crying, something in the milk could be putting them off. Some foods and beverages that you consume will reach your milk within hours, so you may want to consider avoiding dairy, chocolate, fruit squash, diet drinks and caffeine.
Finally, your baby’s reaction to feeding may be due to reflux. This is a common condition where your baby will bring up milk after feeding, which can obviously be a bit upsetting.
If you’re still unsure as to why your baby cries during feeding, note down when it occurs and see if you can distinguish a pattern.
Is Your Baby Crying Constantly?
If your baby cries constantly, there could be several causes. Colic is perhaps the most common cause; but whereas everyone agrees that colic exists, no definitive causes have been determined. Some doctors believe that colic could be the result of some sort of stomach pain, as crying will often stop and start, suggesting there could be waves of discomfort. Unfortunately, there are no specific remedies for colic, so you may have to wait it out.
Conversely, your baby could also be ill if they are crying consistently, particularly if the cry sounds different to you. You should seek medical advice immediately if:
- Your baby has a weak, high-pitched, constant cry
- Your baby is floppy when picked up
- They take less than a third of their usual daily fluids
- They pass much less urine than usual
- They vomit green fluid
- Blood passes in their stool
- If under three months they have a fever of 38 C or above
- If between three and six months they have a fever of 39 C or above
- They have a high-temperature but their extremities are cold
- Your baby has a bulging fontanelle
- Your baby has a fit
- They turn blue, mottled or pale
- They have a stiff neck
- They have difficulty breathing
- They are breathing faster than usual
- They are grunting whilst breathing
- They seem to working really hard to breathe
- Your baby has a purple-red rash (this could be meningitis)
When Should You Seek Help To Soothe Your Crying Baby?
Caring for a baby can be extremely difficult, frustrating and tiring, so you should never be ashamed of asking for help. Your GP and health visitor will be more than happy to aid you in your time of need. Help them by simply noting down patterns of when and how often your baby cries.
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