A Crying Infant
by SARA AHMAD
Newborn crying jags are inevitable, but a crying baby can test your patience anytime. Here are some tips that will help to soothe a crying baby and renew your ability to handle the tears
Before they learn to communicate in other ways, babies need to cry in order to try to convey all sorts of different emotions and needs. Sometimes the reason will be an obvious physical requirement and a feed, sleep or nappy change will solve the problem. At other times it may seem like your baby is crying for no reason at all, which often means a more complex, emotional need is not being met. If your little one is inconsolably irritated, try these simple soothing techniques, which may just comfort your child and restore a peaceful calm to your household.
Feed Your Child
Hunger is one of the most common reasons that your newborn baby will cry for. The younger your baby is, the more likely it is that she's hungry. Your baby's small stomach can't hold very much, so if she cries, try offering her some milk. She may be hungry, even if her last feed doesn't seem very long ago. It's likely that you will be feeding often and regularly in the first day or so to help your breast milk to come in anyway. If you are formula feeding your baby she may not be hungry if she has been fed within the last two hours. She may not stop crying immediately, but let her keep feeding if she wants to.
Create A Cocoon
The big wide world is full of new experiences and wonder for a newly born baby, but sometimes all he really wants is to be returned to the familiar protection of his mother's womb. Recreate this safe environment for your teary little one by wrapping him up tightly in a blanket, leaving his arms free if he prefers. Hold your baby close to your chest so he can hear that familiar heart beat, or try running a bath and holding him close to you in the warm soothing water.
Build A Calm Environment
Many everyday activities can feel quite overwhelming to a very young baby, particularly if there have been guests in the house or he has had a particularly active day. Crying could simply be his way of telling you "I've had enough". If this seems to be the case, take your little one away from any outside stimulation including other people, the television and the radio, and find a quiet, darkened room. Stay with him whilst he becomes settled in this new calming environment, which may initially cause more tears but should eventually soothe him into a more relaxed state.
Massage Your Little Baby
Using massage oils or cream and gently rubbing her back or tummy can help to soothe her. If your baby has colic or cries a lot, a tummy rub may soothe her. Gentle tummy strokes in a clockwise direction encourage trapped wind and help ease her distress. It may also make you feel better, as it's a practical way of reducing your baby's distress.
Sing A Song
You may be no Aretha Franklin but that's not to say that your baby won't feel comforted by the sound of your singing voice. The time-honoured method of soothing babies to sleep with a lullaby works not only for your child, but can help you to feel calm in the midst of a lengthy bout of crying. Try gently rocking your baby to the rhythm of your song or if he's feeling energetic why not have a little dance together? The sight of you waving your hands in the air may just be enough to raise a smile from your tempestuous tot.
Take A Walk
Your little one is very sensitive to changes in temperature and can find stuffy, heated rooms not only uncomfortable, but extremely distressing. If you sense your baby's crankiness may be due to overheating, wrap him up and take him outside for a walk either in his pushchair or a sling. A simple change of environment and some fresh air is sometimes all it takes to calm an irritable tot and will have the added benefit of clearing your head as well. Getting out and about is incredibly important for new parents as it can restore a sense of normalcy and help with any feelings of stress and isolation.
Have A Break
His nappy is dry, he has had a nap, he's fed, washed, been sang to, rocked and everything else you can think of but your adorable little monster is still wailing. The fact is that all babies cry, and unfortunately some cry far more than others, sometimes for no apparent reason. When you feel you are at the end of your tether it is important that you take a step back and allow yourself to breathe. If you become panicky and stressed, your baby may sense these emotions and take even longer to calm down. Try putting your baby down safely in his cot and leaving the room for a few minutes to try and catch your breath, or ask a trusted person to take care of him while you take a walk or have a sleep. Taking a little bit of 'you time' is important for your sanity and is conducive to a calm and relaxing atmosphere at home which in turn may inspire a more calm and relaxed attitude from even the most irritable infants.