Understanding And Responding To Your Newborn Babys Behaviour
Your newborn baby is working out what the world is like. The way you respond to your babys behaviour, especially crying, tells your baby a lot about the world.
For example, your baby might find out that when they cry, someone comes to give them what they need. This might be a nappy change, a feed or a cuddle. If that happens, baby will learn that the world is a pretty OK place.
When you respond quickly to comfort your crying newborn, your baby might cry less often overall. Its absolutely fine to pick up your newborn baby when they cry. It helps your baby feel safe and know that youre nearby.
You cant spoil a newborn. If your newborn is crying, its because they need you to comfort them. If you respond calmly and consistently, it helps your baby learn that the world is a safe and predictable place.
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.
Cluster Feeding Vs Colic
If your baby is fussier than usual, you might wonder if they have colic. Colic is similar to cluster feeding in that it can come on suddenly and often occurs in the evening.
A baby with colic usually cant be soothed with nursing or formula. However, a cluster feeding baby will be soothed during nursing sessions.
Colic is defined as at least three hours of crying for at least three days a week, at least three weeks in a row. It affects of all babies worldwide. Theres no difference in risk between male or female babies, nor between breastfed or formula-fed babies.
Colic symptoms include:
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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.
What Causes Some Babies To Be Needier Than Others
The important thing to remember is that having a high needs baby isnt because you did something to cause it. You might obsess over what you could have done better or what you didnt do. But the truth is, some babies are simply born more sensitive than others. And as a result, overstimulation and stress causes them to react differently.
The short answer to this question is that we just dont know. Its been suggested that possible causes could include prenatal stress or a traumatic birth. Some babies may become high needs after experiencing some type of separation from their mother at birth. But in some cases, theres no clear explanation.
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What Are The Signs
Every baby exhibits signs of the witching hour a little differently, and the signs can change from day to day, or even week to week.
As Daniel Ganjian, MD, a pediatrician at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., describes it, babies will be generally fussy and difficult to soothe. They may want to be constantly held. Often parents will complain that they cant put their babies down.
You might find that your baby cries, grunts, and makes faces that look like they are in pain. They may arch their backs and scream, says Dr. Ganjian.
Frequently, babies will change their feeding patterns. Some babies want to be fed more during this fussy period, Dr. Ganjian explains. But other babies seem to want to be fed less. This change in feeding pattern may happen whether your baby is breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, Dr. Haas clarifies.
When babies tend to feed endlessly in the evenings, this is usually referred to as cluster feeding. Some parents describe it as having a baby who seems to feed for a few minutes, falls asleep, and then wants more immediately. Sometimes these cluster feeding sessions coincide with growth spurts, but they are also typical for this age and part of the witching hour phenomenon.
Still, other babies will seem to refuse to feed, arching away from the breast and bottle. Babies may seem hungry during the witching hour but then refuse to eat, says Dr. Haas. They are not always sure of the right way to settle, she says.
Gradual Distance Technique For Your Crying Baby
The gradual distancing technique is one of the methods suggested to help stop a baby from crying at night for no reason. Instead of severing your role in the babys get-back-to-sleep routine in one go, this method advocates doing it in a phased manner. Here is how you can go about this:
With this method, in about a few weeks, you should be able to put down your baby in the crib at bedtime and walk out while he falls asleep on his own. Also, remember the following tips to make the most of this technique:
- It is best to try this only when you feel your baby can handle it. Four months is the suggested age.
- Try not to take a step back when using this method as it can undo all that has been achieved.
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Crying In Older Puppies
The story is a little different when it comes to an older puppy that’s over eight weeks old. Older puppies may cry for a wide range of reasons. It’s one of their primary ways to express their opinions and wishes. Older puppies may cry when:
- They’re left alone. An older puppy recently weaned and perhaps removed from its littermates is probably still adjusting to these changes. He may cry if his new human family is out of sight. Keeping the pup in view of household activities can help alleviate crying.2
- They’re awake at night. It’s not much fun if you’re trying to sleep and your puppy is wide awake, especially when she starts crying or barking. But don’t worry! There are a few things you can do to help her sleep at night.
- They’re sleepy. Puppies sleep a lot! It can be as much as 18 to 20 hours a day at this age. And if they’re sleepy, they sometimes cry.
- They need to go outside. If your puppy is already smart enough to alert you when he needs to go outside, you’re doing greatand so is he! To make sure things stay that way, take your eight-week-old puppy out every three hours or so to give him a potty break,3 whether he’s crying or not.
Your puppy’s cries are a good form of communication. It’s a valuable clue to help you figure out what he’s trying to tell you. So listen and respond. You’ll be communicating with your puppy in no time!
When Does It Start And End
Typically, the witching hour starts when your baby is a few weeks old. Dr. Haas says that most babies start to have evening fussies between 2-3 weeks of age. The fussy period tends to peak at 6 weeks.
The good news is that this fussy period does endeven though it can seem to last for an eternity. Most babies will outgrow this fussy period at 3-4 months, says. Dr. Haas.
Dr. Haas reminds parents of premature babies to make sure to recalculate these estimates. If your baby was born prematurely, remember to use their adjusted age, which would mean the phase starts 2-3 weeks past your original due date and may last until 3-4 months after the due date, she says.
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Your Baby Doesnt Like Too Much Stimulation
In some cases, even the slightest amount of stimulation can set off a high needs baby.
Some infants can sleep with a radio or TV on in the background, and not flinch at the sound of a vacuum cleaner or other loud noise.
These noises, however, might be too much for a high needs baby to handle. They might melt down when overstimulated in other areas, too, such as being in public or around a lot of people.
Keep in mind, too, that some high needs babies need stimulation to feel calmer. And if so, your baby might be highly agitated at home, but calm down if you go for a walk outdoors or do other things outside the house.
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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Your Baby Wont Sleep Alone
Since a high needs baby has more intense separation anxiety, sleeping in their own room rarely happens. Your baby may only be able to sleep right next to you long after other babies their age have embraced more independence.
You can try a little trickery you know, putting them in their crib after they fall asleep. Just know that this may or may not work. Your baby might sense your absence and wake up crying within minutes of being put down.
As a reminder, co-sleeping carries a higher risk of SIDS and isnt advised. So as tempting as it may be for everyone to have your baby sleep with you, the best option to keep the peace in this case would be to bring their crib beside your bed.
When To Call The Doctor
If your baby’s crying is incessant, no doubt you’ve already had several powwows with your pediatrician. “Even though colic is normal, it’s not something you should keep quiet about, because there will be babies who do have something else,” says Larry Scherzer, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington.
Apart from fussiness, additional red flags that could indicate a more serious medical condition include frequent vomiting, fever, loose or bloody stools, poor weight gain and feeding, eczema, and lethargy. Keep a diary that tracks how often your baby cries, sleeps, eats, and poops and pees. Any difficulties with feeding or spitting up may help you discover if there’s a pattern to the crying.
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How Long Does The Crying Last
Early intervention can nip the problem in the bud and ensure you and your baby have peaceful nights. By resorting to appropriate methods of dealing with the crying, you can bring about changes in your babys behaviour in as little as two weeks. But this task gets more difficult as your baby grows older. Children aged one year or older are likely to fight off going to bed, even when they are sleepy and exhausted. They can cry for hours, protesting at the changes brought about in their schedule. If you do not take remedial measures when your child is an infant, the crying can last up until three or four years of age.
What Causes Uncontrollable Crying In Babies
It is something that occurs more frequently in babies than most parents would care to admit.
I know of at least one mother who tried to get her infant to sleep when it was still a baby, but it only made the crying even more intense.
That poor baby spent more time crying than it did sleep.
How do you stop your crying? The problem lies in our initial reaction to your childs crying.
We are programmed in this society to take the easy way out by not disciplining and scolding. We love to get a piece of candy or a pat on the head for all of our good behavior.
Certain things in our daily routine can trigger an episode ofcrying. You need to change your routine if you want to avoid your child havinguncontrollable crying.
Many of us fail to realize that we feed our children on empty stomachs, but we should be aware that our bodies are operating on their most productive state meaning they need nutrients.
Your body should only consume the nutrients it needs and not those that are not essential.
We often forget to feed our children properly, so they becomehungry but need to go without eating. This is why babies tend to cry untiltheir hunger gets them to eat, even though they arent hungry.
Water is a natural resource that is important to the growth ofyour child. If your child is drinking from a glass rather than a bottle, youcan help them not to cry by providing them with something to drink. A dropperfilled with a special formula will help them to swallow the water.
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Long Naps During The Day
Learn your babys sleep patterns and regulate them. Control how often and how long your baby naps during the day.
If she is very active that day and gets overtired, she wont be able to sleep longer periods at night.
Pay attention to the duration of her nap time. It should ideally not be longer than 3 hours, because the longer the naps during the day, the more disruptive your babys nighttime sleep will become.
Pay Attention To Your Babys Signals
The whole world comes to your baby through their senses, and every baby has different sensory needs, which is why one baby might love to be held and another doesnt or one baby will cry because of a wet diaper and another will ignore it and continue to play happily.
Get to know your babys preferences by engaging all of your senses as you try to figure out what your baby needs. Try being especially attentive to:
Changes in mood. Do your babys mood changes seem to coincide with environment changes, the time of day, or in relation to food or naps? For example, if your baby is cranky in the late morning, watch to see if they are sending signals that youre missinglike an isolated yawn or eye rubbing.
Reactions to different situations and environments. Babies often send signals that we as adults just dont notice. Your baby might get overstimulated if too many people are around or become especially upset about schedule changes.
Differences in your babys cries. At first all cries will sound the same, but, gradually, you will hear how the Im hungry cry is very different from the Im tired cry. Notice noise level, pitch and intensity of the cry, as well as your babys body language and facial expressions. An arched back, a scrunched-up face, eyes tightly closed to shut out the light, fists curled up, rubbing eyes, hyperactive or frenetic movementall of these signs communicate something specific about your babys emotional and physical state.
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