A crying baby is attempting to tell you something. Your task is to figure out why your baby is crying and what you can do about it.
Why do they cry?
Babies may cry a lot and may appear they are in pain (e.g. pull up their legs, clench their fists, go red in the face and become very distressed). The crying tend to be worse in the afternoons and evenings. Some babies may cry for hours but look normal.From 12 weeks the crying usually becomes less and by 4-5 months old more settled. If you are worried take your baby to see your doctor.
Crying is normal but tell that something is upsetting and that they need you. They may be hungry/thirsty, hot/cold, unwell/in pain, tired/overstimulated, uncomfortable/scared, etc.
Always go to your local clinic/hospital if you feel: the sound is different, seems to be sick/unwell, is refusing feeds, the crying is affecting everyone, nothing seems soothing or you are worried.
If you have made all the obvious checks and your baby just won’t stop crying, try: another feed- your baby may still be hungry, cuddle your baby, rock your baby close to your chest so the baby can feel your heart beating, take your baby for a walk in the fresh air, sing or talk to your baby, wrap your baby in a small soft sheet so the baby feels secure and try to settle your baby in a dark and quiet place.
It is important to try to stay calm, you will find it more difficult to comfort your baby if you are very upset. Learn techniques how to keep yourself calm.
If these things haven’t worked, read further for some more detail on things that you can try !
The best way to meet his needs when he is crying and distressed is to: hold and comfort your crying baby if you can, hold the baby close and snuggled in to you. Some babies don’t like be held closely, so try holding the baby close but facing away from you.
Carry or gently rock the baby.
Let the baby suck on his fist, fingers or thumb. Try offering another breast feed. For formula fed babies, sometimes it might help to give the next feed a little earlier but try not to give formula more often than every three hours.
A bath may help your baby calm down. Some babies will relax and enjoy a bath but others will become tense or more distressed.
Rub your baby’s tummy gently and firmly in a circular clockwise motion.
Try distracting your baby with a favorite toy.
When nothing seems to be working !
If your baby is crying friends or relatives may suggest you use medications or herbal preparations, change to formula (if breastfeeding) or change the formula. You may find it helpful to talk to your Doctor or Child and Family Health Nurse about this.
Disclaimer: Always consult your GP/doctor to make sure this information is right for your child.
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