Coping With A Crying Colicky Or Unresponsive Baby
You already know that no two babies are alike, but this reality may still hit you hard when you hear other parents talking about how easy their babies are or how their newborn sleeps peacefully through the night. Try to avoid comparisons and specific expectations, as they can create negative feelingsespecially if you have a very challenging baby. Give yourself a break if you are having feelings you didnt expect. It may take a bit of time to get in sync with your baby, but the extra work will be worth it!
For stressful situationswhen your baby wont stop crying or wont respond to you, and when you are feeling frustrated, tired, and angryyou need to develop some strategies for taking care of yourself. When youre calm and centered, youll be better able to figure out whats going on with your child and soothe his or her cries.
Recognize your limits. Pay attention to internal warning signs when you are feeling overwhelmed. The sooner you spot your personal limits, the easier it is to plan aheadfor extra help, a break, an excursion outside, or a quick pep talk from a friend or loved one. These small steps to prepare will help you get in the best frame of mind to care for your baby.
Remember that time is on your side. For most babies, crying peaks at six weeks and then gradually eases off. There is an end to the crying on the horizon! You may have to put in a little extra work right now and be very patient, but things will get better.
Need urgent help? .
Tips For Dealing With Baby Witching Hour
Once youve ruled out any medical conditions that may be causing your baby to crya protein allergy or intolerance or baby reflux are two common infant ailmentsthere are some time-tested ways to soothe a fussy baby at night.
Let baby sleep. Give her the chance to get in as much shut-eye during the day, since an overtired baby has a harder time falling asleep at night.
Take baby to a quiet, dark room. By limiting stimulation when hes upset, baby will have an easier time calming down. A white noise machine or app may help too.
Re-create the womb.Swaddle baby and sway with or rock him. This will feel familiar and comforting to him.
Snuggle. Skin-to-skin contact lets baby smell youits like aromatherapy for babies!
Nurse baby as much as she wants. Because youre making milk at a slower pace late in the day, shell want to feed for longer before she feels satisfied.
Startand stick toa bedtime regimen. You can start with a bath and end with a book or lullaby. Eventually, baby will come to expect the routine and feel calmed by it.
Ask for help. Be gracious to yourselfand babyand ask for support. Tag team and make sure you and your partner are taking care of each other and each getting time apart from the baby, Bernstein says. One parent can go take a walk while the other deals with as long as he or she can handle it. After all, youre probably a lot better at calming baby when youre calm yourself.
How Do You Properly Burp A Baby
When burping your baby, repeated gentle patting on your babys back should do the trick. Cup your hand while patting this is gentler on the baby than a flat palm. To prevent messy cleanups when your baby spits up or has a wet burp, you might want to place a towel or bib under your babys chin or on your shoulder.
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Overstimulation And Changes In Sleep Patterns
Christina Johns, MD, a pediatrician and senior medical advisor at PM Pediatrics, says that these developmental changes can cause your baby to feel overstimulated, which can lead to fussiness. Not only that, but this overstimulation can cause babies to sleep and nap less, which can also contribute to the evening fussies.
As babies grow, they become more aware of their environment and of their own bodies, so being overtired/missing naps or being overstimulated can contribute to a tough evening, Dr. Johns explains.
What Are The Effects Of Having A High Needs Baby
If your baby is demanding, intense, and has a hard time adapting, you might fear that theyll have problems with behavior later in life.
Theres no way to know with certainty how a babys temperament will affect them later on. Some studies do suggest that excessive fussiness in infancy can be a risk factor for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder .
In one analysis, researchers looked at 22 studies on infant regulatory problems in 1,935 children. The studies investigated specifically the possible long-term effects of sleeping problems, excessive crying, and feeding issues. Based on the results, children with these particular regulatory problems were at greater risk for developing behavioral problems.
Its important to note, though, that this risk was higher in children who had other factors going on within their families or environment.
And, of course, this doesnt mean that your child will develop ADHD. Many parents report that even when a baby is high needs, their little ones temperament improves with age and the difficulties become a distant memory.
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What Are The 5 Ss To Calm Babies
A new system that involves the five Ss swaddling, side/stomach positioning in the parents arms, shushing, swinging, and sucking can calm most crying infants, Dr. Karp said. This activates the babys calming reflex during the first three to four months of life by mimicking experiences in the uterus.
When Do Babies Develop Colic
Babies develop colic during the first six weeks after birth usually around the time they turn 2 weeks old. Colic goes away on its own, and there is no medical treatment. Excessive crying can last until they are 3 or 4 months old or even as long as six months.
While colic can happen at any point during the day, it is most common between 6 pm and midnight.
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Characteristics Of A High Needs Baby
To be clear, babies are supposed to cry. They cant walk, talk, or feed themselves, so crying is the only way for them to let you know their needs.
But if you have other children or youve been around other babies, you may feel that your baby cries more than normal, and you might even joke that your baby entered the world being difficult.
But fussiness in itself doesnt mean that you have a high needs baby. Compare notes with enough parents and youll find some fascinating stories: Babies who only smile during diaper changes and frown at all other times, babies who cry the moment they see a new face, babies who are grumpy for 7 hours straight thats hours, plural during the so-called witching hour.
But all jokes aside, if your babys temperament is more consistently intense than other babies, you could have a higher maintenance child on your hands.
Tips On Surviving The Witching Hour
Now that we know what witching hour is, and some of the reasons it may be happening, lets take a look at my tips on how you can survive it all while keeping your sanity!
#1 Focus in on Your Current Nap Schedule: Nap schedules change frequently as your baby gets older, but if your newborn tends to scream for hours on end in the evening, it may have something to do with how long they nap. Its important to keep your baby well rested, as a well-rested baby sleeps better. If your baby missed a nap, and you have things that need to be done around the house, try baby wearing. Your little one can catch a quick nap while you carry on with your evening routine.
#2 Eliminate Background Noise: If your baby is overstimulated, reducing background noise may be just the trick to creating a calming environment to help relax your baby. Dim the lights, turn off the tv and go to a quiet room to feed. A calming environment and a full belly may be just what your baby needs during the witching hour.
#3 Go with the Flow: When it comes to having a newborn, letting go of certain expectations, and just going with the flow can help reduce some of the pressure new moms put on themselves. Accept that cluster feeding will happen and that its totally normal! Cluster feeding can help comfort your baby, and you may even get more sleep after your baby tanks up on milk for the evening.
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Why Is My Baby Gassy
Some parents report that their newborn will not allow them to put them down. They will only sleep on them or in a carrier. These babies are NOT flexible about where they sleep. Is this personality? Possibly, but it could be that this baby is uncomfortable and being upright and close to a parent is soothing. Having reflux, being gassy or having a sensitive tummy are common reasons I see for refusing to be put down. Babies who are gassy are often uncomfortable all the time, not just at night. Parents often report that she will ONLY sleep on someone.
Signs of gas include a lot of wriggling, arching bag and grunting. Some babies may visibly be trying to âpush.â
Why Does Witching Hour Happen
The fact is: babies cry. A lot. It is, after all, their only way to communicate at this stage. On average, theyll cry for about three hours a day, and when it comes to screaming, really hit their stride between 6-8 weeks of age, generally coinciding with the period where youve eaten the last of the frozen casseroles dropped over by family, and your partner has run out of goodwill with their boss.
There are plenty of theories out there as to why this fussiness builds to such a crescendo at witching hour. In the past, it was attributed to appetite or growth spurts, but both ideas were debunked. These days, some people believe its the only way newborns can release excess energy. Others speculate it happens when a moms milk supply is lower. Another theory focuses on the environment, with babies becoming agitated when energy in the house is dialled up, as people arrive home, older kids watch TV, dinner is cooked, etc.
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Its Okay To Safely Walk Away
Some days are harder than others with a fussy or colicky baby, especially if your babys witching hour lasts through the night. If you feel overtired, overwhelmed or defeated, its totally fine to put your baby safely in her crib and walk away. When it comes to baby care, safety outweighs mommy guilt. Being a good mom means being able to recognize when you need a break. Looking back, I wish I had taken this advice more often as a new mom. When enough was finally enough, I would walk away and turn off the monitor. It was the best I could do. Thirteen years later, my son is a perfectly happy, healthy and loving young man.
Why Is My Baby Suddenly Crying At Night
While not all cries are signs of discomfort, your baby could be dealing with temporary sleep disruptors like illness, teething, separation anxiety or other age-appropriate fears. Newborns cry often. Most sobbing sessions are unrelated to urgent needs, and may even help baby calm down and get to sleep.
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Evaluate Your Own Emotional State
When your baby cries for hours on end, it is natural to feel responsible. Often, though, blaming yourself can get in the way of your ability to be calm, present, and responsive to your baby. The relationship with your baby is a partnership, so your emotions will make a difference to how your baby reacts. If you are feeling overwhelmed, depressed, angry, anxious, or detached, your baby may have trouble calming down.
Recognize And Cope With Colic
Colic is a general term used for babies who cry more than three hours a day for more than three days a week. A baby with colic will often cry inconsolably despite all attempts to comfort and soothe. The cause of colic, which affects one in five babies, is not clear. Some experts think that colic may be connected to the development of the infants intestinal system, related to acid reflux , or to food allergies.
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Reasons That Could Cause Your Babys Gas
If you are breastfeeding with an imperfect latch, you might be allowing excess air into your childâs stomach. Same concept applies for bottle feeding. Air in her gastrointestinal tract will make her uncomfortable and need to burp or toot.
Oversupply, having an abundance of milk, can make a child gassy. Itâs like drinking out of a fire hose for your baby and sheâs bound to swallow some air, which can be hard to digest. La Leche League has a great reference on oversupply that I used with my second child. I had a ton of milk and she kept projectile vomiting. The milk was coming too fast for her, she swallowed a lot of air and her body pushed it back out
Are you getting all the bubbles out? Are you using finesse over force and thinking about squeezing the bubbles up from the stomach? Do you hear one burp and then stop? Think of burping as squeezing bubbles out rather than hitting them out. Rather than stopping after 1 burp, give yourself a 2 minute burping period to see if any others come out.
Your babyâs gut flora is still immature. You have no control over this, some babies are just born with more sensitive stomachs than others.
Piggy backing on the gut flora cause some little ones are more sensitive to certain foods than others.
I have found foods that Mom eats that can be hard to digest include:
When It Doesnt Feel Right
While the witching hour is a normal phenomenon, if you have a fussy baby its also important to watch out for underlying medical reasons like colic or acid reflux. Trust your instincts: if youre worried something isnt right, be sure to talk with your local health service or doctor to rule out any underlying medical issues.
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Your Baby Can Sense Your Mood
Parents often find it difficult to cope with evening fussiness from their little ones, as they themselves feel exhausted by the end of the day.
This is often the reason why the baby struggles to settle: infants need their mum and dad to comfort and reassure them and exhausted and anxious parents can find this hard to convey.
Its a vicious circle: baby cries, parents become increasingly worried, the baby starts crying even more hysterically and so on it goes…