Crying babies is a fact of life. Some babies may cry a little more, some cry a little less, but at this stage there is always a reason for crying.

Babies cry mainly because they are hungry etc.

  • are hungry
  • need changing
  • need the comfort of being held
  • may have a touch of colic.
  • are bored.

The newborn has only one method at his disposal to ensure your closeness and convey his needs – crying. Think of his dependence on you for comfort, nutrition and above all survival, and don’t hesitate to pick him up and comfort him.

Recent research shows that babies will cry less often if their cries are promptly answered.

What is normal crying? There is no hard and fast answer to this common query.

The guidelines are: –

  • See what is usual or normal for your baby over a period of time.
  • Don’t compare with other babies.
  • See if she cries even when she is full, acts fretful and as if something is hurting. If so consult your pediatrician.
  • Pay attention to your own instincts, rather than to conflicting advice from others. – And above all, remain calm yourself.

A nervous irritable mother is more likely to have a nervous irritable baby.

You may be told not to pick up the baby or she will become spoilt. Or you may be told that if you pick her up she will get used to your lap. Rest assured – a newborn cannot be manipulative. She is crying because she needs you. This is perhaps the only problem in her life that you can solve so easily !

You can’t spoil the baby by responding immediately and lovingly to his crying, but you can spoil him by not picking him up.

Sometimes when parents or other caregivers get very frustrated with an irritable and difficult baby, they may shake him in order to stop the crying. Such shaking can be very dangerous, sometimes proving fatal

Shaken Baby Syndrome is the term used to describe the injuries sustained by a baby due to vigorous shaking or jerking. It can lead to permanent developmental damage or death

Tips for soothing a crying baby: –

  • Feed her if she has not been fed in the past two hours.
  • Check the nappy or diaper.
  • Make sure she is warm or cool enough.
  • If she seems ill or in pain, check to see if she has fever and call the pediatrician.
  • Rock and cuddle her.
  • Sing to her or put on some soothing music.
  • Take her for a walk or a drive.
  • Distract her with the fan or light.
  • Keep calm yourself or give her to another adult who is calm and unstressed.

A crying baby is not intentionally trying to make your life difficult. Nor does it mean that you’re bad parent if you are instantly unable to soothe him.

Related Links

Infant Care myths
An Infant’s Point Of View
Keeping your cool

Common ailments
Sleep problems

Breast feeding

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