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Babies are special. Babies are cute. Babies are the most innocent things around, but babies can also be crying and crying, quite often. While expecting, parents are exposed to the wondrousness of having a child. Most often, they are not trained or informed about the challenges associated with caring for a baby. With the rise of the internet, there is a lot of information available about everything under the sun, but it is difficult to comprehend and decide which information is the most accurate for the baby in question. One of the most common issues is the “crying” baby.
Babies cry due to a lot of reasons; mostly it is to communicate. They do not know how to speak, this world is utterly new for them; so their only mode of communication with you is through crying. So, it is important for you to understand and realize that babies are not independent. They are utterly dependent on you for survival. They have just arrived and are struggling hard to make you understand their needs and troubles. And the only natural way they can do it is by crying. Don’t panic if your little one is often crying! That is normal! Try to gaze at their needs and feel happy that you mean the world to them because these moments are not going to last forever.
Let us try to delve into the reasons behind these crying spells. Babies can cry for a lot of reasons, but some causes are common and recurrent.
It is one of the most common causes for a baby to cry for hours at a stretch and sometimes it can continue for weeks. It can be frustrating and worrying for new parents. Keep Calm! The cause for Colic is yet unknown. It is attributed to intestinal issues, gastric, constipation, lactose intolerance and sometimes even standard developmental feature. There is no specific medication available for Colic. Sometimes swaddling the baby, holding the baby or a gentle massage on their tummy might ease the tempo a bit. It is important to know that it does not last for more than two to five months. And no matter what never lose confidence about your parenting style. Know that it is normal, ordinary and will pass soon.
They mostly cry when they are hungry, and they want to pass on the message to you that it’s time for feeding. How else are they supposed to ask for their meals! Remember, every baby is different. They have their own patterns. Babies, who breastfeed, typically need their feeds more often. Though they seem to cry more but are easily consoled once you offer them milk, once done, they come off the breast and contently calm down. A baby on formula milk will usually take a two-hour gap in between feeds. So even when a baby does not calm down immediately, do not give up feeding. They might take a little more time to fill in their small tummy and settle into a peaceful slumber.
A baby needs a lot of body contacts and physical comfort. So, hold him more, cuddle him, sing to him and sometimes even sway him mildly in a rhythmic motion. It might also put them in a deep sleep. If you are too busy or have loads of work that needs your immediate attention, then a baby carrier might do the trick. It still keeps him close to your body and he loves it when he can hear you or smell you.
However, their sleep cycle can be very erratic. Infants sleep for long hours but with frequent breaks. As they grow up, their cycle regulates and their night sleep increases. Initially, it can be quite nerve wrecking when the child is cranky every hour! The constant visitors to the baby can exhaust them, and they can turn cranky. They can also be clingy and simply refuse to get away from you. Hold the baby and comfort him. Babies can show their sleep readiness through various signs like a long stare, a silence or a cry. Watch out for the signals and put on your best calm cap to soothe the baby into a night of sleep.
Babies often cry when they are too cold or too warm. Parents should ensure that the baby is appropriately dressed as per the climate and environment. The baby’s body temperature should be checked, and the clothes should be adjusted accordingly. Parents should touch and feel their babies to understand the infants’ comfort level. Feels the tummy, back or neck to understand your child’s need, touching the hands or feet can be misleading. Cotton clothing and cellular bedding’s can be layered and suited to the infant’s requirement.
Your baby can get cranky when the diaper needs to be changed. A dirty or wet diaper can get them to feel irritated. However, some babies might not respond to it until the skin feels itchy. So a diaper check is mandatory when the baby throws starts wailing.
The final cry can be because the baby is unwell. Typically, the tone is going to be different this time and mostly continuous. It can be anything from fever to a runny nose to a diarrhea to a cough. Look for symptoms. Teething can also be a valid reason. Every time a new tooth pops out the child might be uncomfortable.
Dealing with all the crying and wailing is not easy. Let us look at some tips to soothe the infant. The small little life cannot even fathom what is wrong. So, it is up to you, the parents or the caregiver to figure out the cause and find a way to calm down the baby.
Infants do not give any warnings. So, expect the unexpected. The child might turn from an angel to a mess in a matter of just a few seconds. Hang on there and keep your cool. Researchers and experienced pediatricians always emphasize the rocking therapy. Holding a child and rocking him mildly in your arms or some rocking chair is said to have a calming effect on the brain and eventually, the baby gives in and ceases to cry. Swing the infant, it does work!
It might do the trick sometimes! As you swaddle the baby, quietly put off the lights, it might put the infant to sleep.
Surprised, are you? But, similar to like adults, infants also respond to music and not necessarily to the lullabies. Any sort of music might distract the baby and have a soothing effect on him. So sing a song – do not underestimate the powers of your voice. Play any soulful music. Like swinging or movement playing a piece of music can slow down the baby’s heart and respiratory rate.
They are curious things, and anything new can distract them and divert their attention from the discomfort. Take him out for a walk if the weather permits. Nothing else can quench their curiosity better.
And if nothing else works then try the good old pacifier. It can create magic with the infants. They probably sometimes cry asking for it!
White noise therapy is the latest black magic to pacify a baby. These are typical sounds relatable to the sounds they heard while they were in the womb. Play it on and let it relax the child.
However, they are delicate, so it is important to know the movements and posture otherwise you might end up making the crying worse. The warm touch of your hands can soothe the infant almost instantly. Massage your baby with a baby lotion or baby oil in a quiet ambiance and make sure that the baby is not too cold; during this process, you are applying gentle yet regular pressure with each stroke. Wait and notice the response. If the baby is still fussing then probably this will not work and if not then you have just hit the jackpot!! Congratulate yourself; it is almost celebratory!
Massage should always begin with the baby on his back. Use gentle, circulatory strokes on the head, arms, chest, abdomen, legs and finish off with the neck and shoulders like a pro. Some common and useful motions are open hand strokes on the head to the neck, light massage near the ears and temples. Wrap their arms with your hands and move down slowly with light even pressure. Use your thumbs for the palms and feet. With the chest be careful, gently move upwards with open, flattened hands. Abdomen motion can be ticklish to be so milder. Legs can be done the same way as the arms and finally finish like a pro by lightly stroking the baby’s neck and shoulders.
Keep your cool, no matter what. This constant crying can lead to many frustrating moments. Anxiety can also set in at times. Just relax and remind yourself that “this too shall pass.” Soon the baby will move into the phase of “self – soothing.”
Self-soothing commences when the child gradually develops a structure to pacify themselves when they are left alone in a baby cot or when the child wakes up suddenly in the middle of sleep and learns to fall back asleep on its own. That is more power to the infant. This can be nurtured and taught over time, but it is not easy. It takes effort, patience, and persistence.
The inevitable question pops up. When to start the process of self- soothing? Doctors and researchers say that four months on wards the training can begin. Most babies give in to the tactics. However, different responses are no surprise. Typically, an eight-day window should do it, but with some babies, it might take longer. Do not lose heart if your child is taking a little longer. Older babies used to feed while dozing off to sleep will take a longer time to get into this mode but will always eventually give in.
After this, the journey moves to the next level. Always know that rearing a child is not easy, it is a life- long commitment and be thankful that you have a job for which people are ready to go to any extent. Learn, nurture and rejoice this beautiful journey of parenting.