In 24 hours, babies can cry for up to two to three hours, and coping with the weeping is difficult. Soothing your cranky newborn can seem like it takes up the whole of your day (and much of the night!) after feeding and diapering tasks. Of course, crying and newborns go together because kicking up a fuss is your newborn's only means of communication. However, a baby's cries can rapidly become overwhelming, especially if you don't know why she's upset in the first place.
While crying is natural for babies, as a first-time parent or dad, figuring out what “normal” means can be difficult. The first step in learning how to quiet a crying infant is to address the situation as gently as possible, as getting heated up simply adds to your and the baby's stress.
Here's a look at some of the most frequent reasons babies scream and how to comfort your baby so you can both relax.
Am I a bad mom? Why is my baby so fussy?
Why the tears? It's an age-old question that parents have pondered since the dawn of time. Check out what could be causing your baby's screaming to help you figure out why:
Hunger: Every few hours, or eight to twelve times in 24 hours, babies nurse or drink from a bottle. If your baby is crying, it's a good sign that she's hungry again. Before tears start, look for symptoms of hunger such as lip-smacking, bringing hands to her mouth, and rooting to feed the infant.
Gas: Drinking a lot of liquid might cause air to get trapped in your baby's stomach, making her uncomfortable and unhappy. Burp your infant with gentle pats on the back after each feeding to ease gas.
Time for a diaper change: Nobody wants to sit in poopy or damp pants! Because babies can have up to six or more wet diapers every day, keep an eye on her small bum.
Fatigue: Newborns sleep 14 to 17 hours per day in spurts of two to four hours from day one to month three. If you think your sweetie is overdue for a nap, put her down.
Scared: Get away from the crowds and bustle with your infant to cuddle quietly. Sucking on a pacifier or wrapping her in a soft blanket might also help her feel safe and secure.
Colic: Colic is not a sickness or a physical condition; rather, it refers to prolonged spells of unexplained sobbing. Excessive crying could be a sign of colic; consult your child's paediatrician if you suspect she is crying too much.
Too hot or too cold: When it comes to dressing your baby, layers are helpful, but too few or too many might make her uncomfortable and cause crying. Examine her ensemble to see if you should add or remove a layer.
Sick: Finally, weeping can be an indication that your baby isn't feeling well, so make an appointment with the paediatrician. Check her rectal temperature if you suspect she has a fever.
Tips to Calm a Fussy Baby
When your baby won't stop crying or respond to you, and you're irritated, weary, and furious, you'll need to adopt some self-care skills. You'll be better able to find out what's wrong with your child and comfort his or her screams if you're calm and centred.
Once you've ruled out the obvious causes of your baby's crying (empty stomach, wet diaper, too much nap), and your paediatrician says she's not sick, try these tried-and-true methods to help clear the tears and make you both feel better.
Breastfeeding: A natural component of parenting is calming an angry infant, and breastfeeding is a natural way to do it. Sucking releases sleep-inducing chemicals, which can aid in the establishment of a baby's circadian rhythm.
Non Nutritive sucking, which does not fill their bellies but does quiet their nerves, is a common way for babies to relax. Help your baby discover her thumb, fist, or finger if she is sobbing, or simply offer one of your fingers. A pacifier can also help, but it's best to wait until nursing is well established before using one. Hence, comfort nursing is the key.
Rock & Sway the Baby: For a baby who is already peaceful and merely needs to be sent to sleep, rock slowly; for a baby who is already yelling, rock quicker. Minimize your motions.
You can rest your arms by settling your baby in a swing once he or she is peaceful. (Just don't leave kids in a swing unattended.)
Skin to skin: Babies who are held with skin-to-skin contact, particularly by their mothers, are less likely to cry than those who are separated from their moms, according to studies. A newborn's cry is sometimes referred to as a "separation distress call," as it is a mammalian reflex that is well-suited to luring the mother back to the young.
Most newborns stop crying once they are reunited with their mothers during the newborn period; considering anthropologically about a baby's scream, it appears natural that a baby is less likely to weep when he feels his mother's protection and security. Having the infant "room in" with the mother while she is in the hospital can help her respond to her baby's demands and provide frequent skin-to-skin contact.
White Noise: A small amount of white noise can assist your baby feel as if they are still in the womb. In there, there was a lot of whooshing and background noise. Turn on a fan, place the bassinet near the dishwasher, vacuum, turn on the shower, or tune a radio to static to recreate these relaxing sounds. You want a low-volume, steady sound.
Who doesn't like a massage: A colicky baby can benefit from the soothing power of your touch. Many babies love skin-to-skin contact. Infants who are massaged cry less and sleep better, according to studies. Simply undress your infant and massage their legs, arms, back, chest, and face with slow, firm strokes. It may also help you relax. Before applying any oils or lotions to your baby, consult your paediatrician.
Let the Fun Begin: Even small newborns can become bored, and if they do, they may become fussy. Try describing your activity, complete with hilarious noises and silly faces, to keep your child entertained. You can also show her how her toys rattle and spin by playing on the floor with her, reading a rhyming board book, or dancing to music.
Should I Consult a Doctor
A call to your baby's pediatrician is completely OK if you've tried every trick in the book and still can't figure out what's causing all the tears. It can be comforting to hear from a pro that you're doing everything properly and just need to hang in there a little longer.