How Colic Affects New Parents
Although it’s not harmful in itself, colic can still take its toll. For starters, it puts terrible pressure on new parents. “It sent my husband and me into therapy,” confesses Catherine McManus, a mom from Oviedo, Florida. Excessive crying is also associated with giving up breastfeeding, overmedication of babies, postpartum depression, and shaken-baby syndrome.
Colic is nerve-racking, but it’s helpful to remember that it’s also temporary. “Colic is not your baby’s defining personality trait,” says Laura Jana, M.D., coauthor of Heading Home with Your Newborn . “Once the colic is gone, your child can have a completely different personalityspunky, sensitive, crabby. But colic is not going to tell you which, because it doesn’t carry over.”
Why Do Babies Squirm In Their Bottle At Night
No, some babies have the same reaction when it comes to the formula that is in their bottles. If your newborn is playing the squirm game at night it may just be because of their diet. Gas passing could be another reason that your tiny human has a habit of thrashing and squirming in the night.
Crying: What Is Normal
During the first few weeks of your newborns life, dont be surprised if your baby cries for up to two hours a day. This is normal. The crying will be spaced out, and it will add up, Dr. Bristol says. Its how they communicate. If theyre hungry, have wet diapers or have pooped themselves, theyll let you know by crying.
Be patient with yourself. As time passes, youll be able to tell the difference between the cries. The hungry cry will differ from the tired cry, and the tired cry will differ from the I need a diaper change! cry.
If youve tried feeding your baby and checking his or her diaper, consider other potential causes for the crying. Check your babys temperature, look for scratches on the skin or eyesbabies will scratch their eyes with their nails more often than you thinkand check to make sure the baby doesnt have a hair tourniquet .
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When To Let Baby Cry It Out
Its hard for any parent to hear baby crying, and its instinctual to want to soothe those tears. But is there ever a point when its best to just let baby cry? Theres really no hard-and-fast answer. Yes, babies can cry a lot, but given that its their primary form of communication, its not all that surprising. They need to learn the rhythms of living outside the womb, and they need lots of help with thatthrough comfort, rocking and calming, Narvaez says. They cant do these things themselves during the first several months.
When it comes to sleep training, whether or not its okay to let baby cry it outotherwise known as the Ferber methodis a bit controversial. Some critics say letting baby cry can be emotionally scarring, but that claim isnt backed by science. In fact, a 2016 study found that letting baby cry didnt result in any stress responses or have any long-term effects on babys emotional state, outward behavior or the parent-child bond. But every family has to find a sleep training strategy that works for them.
If baby wont stop crying and youve reached your limit, its always okay to put your child down in a safe place, like the crib or play yard, walk away and take a few minutes to compose yourself. If you feel yourself starting to get frustrated and angry with your crying baby, take a step back and find someone to help, whether its your partner, a family member or a friend. And remember, as with all things, this too shall pass.
What Can I Do To Help Avoid My Baby Crying
Follow a regular settling routine – this will help your baby to feel secure and learn its time for sleep. A gentle, predictable wind-down period helps babies transition from being active to becoming calm. Learning your baby’s tired signs, such as yawning, rubbing their eyes, grizzling and fussiness are common signs they need to sleep.
Try to separate your babys feeding and settling times. Its normal and very common for young babies to go to sleep when theyre feeding and being held. Missing their sleep window can lead to overtiredness, making it more difficult to settle.
Make sure theyre comfortable, warmly dressed and have a dry nappy. The best time for most babies to settle is after feeding. Try to place your baby in their cot when theyre still drowsy, rather than asleep in your arms.
Stay with them until theyre relaxed and drifting off to sleep. Support your baby to learn how to settle independently, without always needing your help.
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What To Do About Colic
Pediatricians may be sympathetic and recommend Mylicon drops or gripe water, but often doctors will tell parents to just be patient, because colic is not harmful and will go away on its own. Of course, in the midst of all that crying, having someone tell you to be patient may seem impossible to consider. In order to make it through, you will have to develop some great self-care strategies and enlist support.
Focus on one day at a time .
Ask your doctor to consider the possibilities of food allergies or acid reflux , which can be remedied. If you are breastfeeding, you can try adjusting your diet to see if that affects your babys crying spells.
Ask for helpsupport from your spouse, family, friends, and a babysitter or nanny will be essential to getting through the first few months of your babys life.
Knowing When To Seek Help
How are you feeling right now? Coping with crying can be very challenging. What do you need to feel supported? How can you get this kind of support? Are there friends or family who can help out? Is there a community resource for new parents where you can go for support?
Although crying is they primary way babies communicate, and they are not doing it to make you feel badly, it can be very difficult to take over long periods of time. When babies cry a lot, it can feel like nothing positive is happening between the two of you. Watch your baby carefully. How do you see your baby responding to you in positive ways? For example, does he follow you with his eyes, or prefer to be held by you? Does he turn toward you when he hears your voice, or calm when he sees you coming? Soon, if not already, you will even be getting some smiles!
When to Seek Help
There are times when it is important to seek out the guidance of a trusted health care provider or child development professional to be sure your childs development is on track. You and your baby need support during what can be a difficult time. Moments in which you and/or your child might need some extra help include:
If your childs crying began after she experienced a life change or following a frightening or traumatic experience.
This resource was made possible by generous funding from the Carl and Roberta Deutsch Foundation.
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Reasons Why Some Babies Dont Cry
Most babies have a natural crying instinct theyre programmed to announce their arrival with a big Waah. Since newborns cant talk yet, crying is simply the best way for them to communicate.
Still, as long as your babys needs are met, theres no issue with them not crying as much. Every baby is different some might feel hungry or cold but arent able to express it by crying.
If your pediatrician has determined everything is fine with your newborn, they may simply still be learning how to cry. If so, you must discover other gestures your little one might use to let you know what they need.
Clinically, I find that the amount of crying varies with the temperament of the baby. This is best seen with twins one twin may seem to cry and vocalize often, while the other is calm, quieter, and cries less.
This is also why its so tough for parents with babies who cry less. How do you know if their needs are met? Its common to label a baby who cries less as an easy baby but chances are its the opposite.
Here are some ways your newborn might communicate with you without crying :
About Newborn Baby Behaviour
Sleeping, feeding, crying. Thats what newborn behaviour is all about in the first few months.
Although your baby might give you some eye contact, crying is probably the main thing youll notice about your babys behaviour. For example, your baby will cry because they feel hungry, unsettled, wet or uncomfortable, or just because they need a cuddle. And sometimes your baby will cry for no obvious reason.
Babies are born with very different temperaments. Some are relaxed and easygoing, and others seem to be more intense. Some seem to move constantly, and others are quieter. Some are cheerful most of the time, and others are more serious.
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If You Breastfeed Consider Probiotics
Researchers are still trying to nail down a definitive cause for colic.
One theory is that a contributing factor is inflammation in the gut from a less-than-ideal collection of microbes that first colonize the infants intestines. Dr. Marc Rhoads, M.D., a pediatric gastroenterologist at the University of Texas at Houston, has looked for signs of inflammation in babies stools, measuring a biomarker called calprotectin that signals irritable bowel syndrome in adults. His research group found much higher levels of calprotectin in infants with colic than in infants without it, suggesting inflammation, and also found differences in the microbial communities in their guts.
To help correct this microbial imbalance, research groups in several countries have tested a strain of the bacterium Lactobacillus reuteri, isolated from the breast milk of a Peruvian woman. A meta-analysis that combined multiple smaller studies reports that colicky babies who were breastfed and received the strain as a probiotic cried about 46 fewer minutes per day than babies who received a placebo. Dr. Rhoads conducted a small trial that established the safety of the probiotic, which can be purchased as Gerber Soothe Probiotic Colic Drops or BioGaia ProTectis Baby.
Watch For Attachment Milestones
If your baby has challenges that get in the way of emotional connection, bonding and attachment may suffer. The following attachment milestones can help you recognize your babys attachment progress.
If the milestones are not happening in the right time frame, you should seek help. Fear or stress might make you feel reluctant to evaluate your baby this way, but attachment problems identified early are usually easier to fix.
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Attachment Milestone : Give And Take Communication
With the third milestone, your babys level of engagement with you becomes more sophisticated.
Your baby uses an ever-increasing range of sounds, facial expressions, and gestureswide eyes, coos, nonsensical babbles, giggles, pointingto invite you to play and to indicate needs and wants.
You continue to watch your childs signals, gestures, and facial expressions and adjust your responses to those cues. You should notice more back and forth communication.
Calming A Crying Baby: Why Babies Cry At Night
New parents often wish they had a magic baby cry decoderespecially to figure out why babies cry at night. Learn about the different causes of crying, and get tips on how to stop a crying baby today.
Newborns cry a lotbut they sleep even more. Most newborns sleep about eight to nine hours during the day and another eight hours at night, though not all at once. Your baby probably wont sleep through the night until shes at least three months old. Some babies dont sleep through the night until six months or older. So it stands to reason that lots of crying starts up when you thought she was sleeping peacefullyor when you’re trying to sleep.
Crying is your babys primary way of sending you a message. Babies cry at night to signal that they are in need of your help. Whats she trying to tell you when she wakes up wailing or cries in her sleep? Here are the main reasons why babies cry at night, and what to try when you’re wondering how to stop a crying baby.
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Getting Help With A Crying Baby
You can talk to a friend, your health visitor or GP, or contact the Cry-sis helpline on 08451 228 669, open 9am to 10pm, 7 days a week. You’ll be charged for your call.
Cry-sis can put you in touch with other parents who have been in the same situation.
You can also visit the Cry-sis website for information on coping with crying babies.
If you decide to talk to your health visitor or GP, it can help to keep a record of how often and when your baby cries.
For example, this might be after every feed or during the evening. This can help your health visitor or GP to work out if there’s a particular cause for the crying.
Keeping a record can also help you identify the times when you need extra support. You could think about possible changes to your routine.
There may be times when you’re so tired and angry you feel like you cannot take any more. This happens to a lot of parents, so do not be ashamed to ask for help.
If you do not have anyone who can take care of your baby for a short time and the crying is making you stressed, put your baby in their cot or pram, make sure they’re safe, close the door, go into another room and try to calm yourself down.
Set a time limit for example, 10 minutes then go back.
Is Your Baby Unresponsive Or Indifferent
Most babies use crying to communicate and they will continue to cry or show that they are upset until a parent or caregiver responds to their needs. Other babies, instead of crying, become upset and then tune out and fail to show any emotion. If you think about it, you probably know more than one adult who acts this way when faced with difficulty. An unresponsive baby might seem like an easy baby, because they may be quiet and agreeable. But a baby that doesnt respond to you, the environment, and sensory influences needs help. Call your pediatrician right away.
NEVER NEVER shake a baby
Shaken Baby Syndrome occurs when a baby is shaken. The blood vessels in a babys head cannot tolerate the impact of shaking and can break.
- The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome estimates that there are about 1,300 reported cases each year in the U.S.
- Shaking is the leading cause of child abuse deaths and can also result in brain damage, mental retardation, seizures, or blindness.
- Shaking usually happens when parents or caregivers become frustrated or angry when they are not able to stop the baby from crying.
- Shaken baby syndrome is 100% preventable.
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