In the early weeks, babies often cry a lot and some babies cry a lot more than others. The main way babies have of letting us know when they need help is crying, but why baby crying is not always easy to work out. Each day some babies cry for 2 hours or more and this can be normal for them.
It is hard to be with a crying baby.
Some reasons why babies cry:
- Uncomfortable – cold, hot, needs nappy change, tummy pain or wind.
- Unwell: if your baby is crying a lot, you can feel sure that your baby is well, only after check with your doctor.
- The baby is stressed, because too much has happened in the day.
- Many babies cry a lot in the evening or late afternoon.
- Some babies seem to be in pain due to reflux.
- Many times, no reason can be found, when young babies cry.
Comforting your baby
If your baby is crying, she needs you to go to her, and care for her. By doing this, you cannot spoil a baby. In the early months a baby needs to learn that her world is a safe place to be in.
As you get to know your baby you will find it easier to work out when she needs to sleep or to be settled or wants a feed.
Sometimes nothing helps her calm down, you will check to see if something is upsetting her, and you will find nothing wrong. All you can do is hold her and sit and help her learn how to cope with her distress.
- Hold your baby. Crying babies stiffen their legs and arch their heads back. Holding them curved into a flexed or C position can help them calm down.
- Wrapping a baby help the baby sleep for longer and can be calming.
- Dummies help some babies to settle, but don’t use one in the early weeks until the breastfeeding is well established.
- When taken for a walk in the pram, many babies settle and the exercise helps parents feel better too. Don’t leave your baby sleeping by himself in a pram.
- Some babies only seem to settle when taken for a drive. This is not ideal but if you are able to do this safely this might be useful for the few weeks before he grows past this stage.
Coping with your own feelings
It is very hard to always be patient with baby, especially if she cries a lot.
You may find yourself feeling angry, distressed, frustrated and helpless. These feelings cannot just be ignored, because they are real. It doesn’t mean, just because you love your baby, you have to like her behavior all the time.
Put your baby down in her cot (or other safe place) and walk away. Perhaps, go outside, take some deep breaths, make a cup of tea or phone someone.
When you feel calmer, go back to your baby and try to settle her again.