Crying is how babies communicate. The average newborn cries 2-3 hours a day. This is very stressful for new and sleep deprived parents.
Some babies are more fussy than others. They seem more sensitive to their surroundings and need lots of attention. Some just want to be held all the time. Some seem to cry for no apparent reason.
Just like all people, babies have their own temperament. All babies cry and the good news is, eventually they will grow out of it.
Why Babies Cry
They are hungry
They are too hot or too cold…..Feel the baby’s back or tummy to see if he is comfortably dressed.
They want to be held.
Too much stimulation —noise, people, lights too bright.
There is tension, arguing going on in the home
Something is making the baby uncomfortable….Clothes are tight. A clothes label hurts him. His socks are pinching his toes
The baby may be sick…tummy ache, earache, a cold, or diaper rash.
Maybe the baby has colic;
Colic usually sets in between 2 weeks and 3 months of age. An otherwise healthy baby may cry up to 3 hours due to pain in his tummy. Babies with colic sometimes pull up their legs as they cry . The reason for colic is usually the baby’s immature digestive system. A change in formula may be necessary. The baby will outgrow colic, but this is, and can be, a miserable time for both the baby and the parents.
Some tried and true ways to calm a crying baby:
Burp baby after every 2-3 ounces of formula or breast milk.
Try a different style bottle with a slower nipple.
Give the baby a pacifier. Many babies need extra sucking to relax.
Experiment holding him/her differently.
Move around while carrying the baby—swaddle (wrap the baby firmly in a light blanket) and sway.
Put him/her in a wind-up swing.
Turn on the radio or the dryer, or vacuum cleaner… Some babies are calmed by steady sounds (white noise.)
Take him/her for a ride in the stroller or car.
Call the doctor when
The baby’s temperature is over 100.4o F
There is forceful vomiting.
The baby has hard, infrequent, bowel movements
The baby isn’t urinating…
The baby has any trouble breathing…..Call 911.
You are worried about your baby.
If you find yourself getting upset over your baby’s crying, put the baby in a safe place, and leave the room until you calm down.
Never shake a baby. Shaken babies can develop brain damage or die.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Parenting is difficult, especially when you are tired and stressed out. All babies cry and eventually they will grow out of it.
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