How do I deal with a baby that cries all the time?
This is a question that millions of parents around the world will be asking right now. Here are some answers to commonly asked questions from new parents regarding crying babies.
Why do babies cry?
All babies cry- even an entirely healthy newborns will cry somewhere between 1 and 3 hours altogether each day, as crying is a baby’s only way of communicating their needs. As a new parent, it can be difficult to work out what your baby is telling you; is she hungry, hot, cold, thirsty, wet, bord, looking for a cuddle, tired or over-stimulated?
However, you will gradually begin to recognise your baby’s different crying patterns and anticipate her needs. As babies grow, they learn other ways to communicate, such as making eye contact, noises and even smiling, all of which reduce the need to cry.
My baby is two weeks old and cries all the time. I’m feeling so tired. Will things get better?
You will almost certainly find that things improve with time – babies grow and change and you will also grow in confidence as a parent. However you need to know how to cope with, and hopefully enjoy life at the moment and you may need some additional help and support to manage this.
Until your baby is 28 days old, you are still officially under the care of a midwife, even if you have not really had any visits since around day 10. It’s still ok to call the hospital/ midwife to ask for advice and support if you are feeling overwhelmed with your crying baby. Your health visitor will also visit you at home from day 10 postnatal, and they will be able to offer advice and support if you explain the problems you are having. In addition to this, it is important to have someone ie close friend, partner, mother, who can give you practical support with things like chores whilst you care for your baby.They can always can the baby out for a walk so that you can get some rest.
The crying is getting on my nerves – what should I do?
Most of the time, a baby who cries a lot will not do themselves any hard, but may cause stress and worry for you. If your baby seems to resist every effort you make to calm them down, it can be hard not to feel rejected as well as frustrated. Parents sometimes blame themselves, feeling that they are doing something wrong. If you know your baby’s needs are met, shes not ill, and you have tried everything you can think of to calm her down but nothing has worked, it’s good to have a coping strategy in place for how to deal with situations when you feel overwhelmed. Here are a few suggestions:
- Take deep breaths
- Put your baby down – place baby somewhere safe ie in the cot and leave the room for a few minutes out of your hearing until you feel calmer. Try not to leave a baby screaming for more than 5 minutes.
- Play your favourite music and let your self relax – babies like music too and you may find that this soothes them!
- Call a friend or relative to take over whilst you take a break
- Talk to your health visitor about local support groups or mother and baby groups where you can share your feelings and experiences and discuss new ways of coping with your baby’s crying.
- Take baby out for a walk or drive. Often the motion helps to calm babies down.
Should I pick her up every time she cries?
Although this is a matter of personal choice, you should never feel you are spoiling your baby by attending to her cries, or by giving her plenty of cuddles or carrying her around with you if this comforts her. Crying is initially a baby’s only method of communication. It is meant to get your attention and is designed to affect you so that you will quickly find out whats needed. As long as you have checked all baby’s needs have been met, leaving them to cry for a couple of minutes to use the toilet for example wont do any harm. Some babies will learn to comfort themselves but others don’t – babies are all different.
My baby cries for hours every evening. Could this be colic and is this serious?
Colic is fairly common in newborn babies, affecting around 10-15 percent of infants. It usually appears in the first few weeks of life. Babies suffering with colic may lift their head, become rd in the face and draw their legs up in pain. So what is colic? The definition of colic is quite simply ” uncontrollable crying in an otherwise healthy baby”
To be termed “colicky” a baby needs to cry or fuss for more than 3 hours per day, for more than 3 days in a week. Although colic can occur at any time of the day, it is more common in the evening and is traditionally worse at 3 months of age. There are several theories as to what colic is, why it happens and the courses of treatment. Research has shown It is more common in boys, bottlefed babies and firstborns. If it has not settled by 5 months, you may want to visit your doctor for advice.