Digest This – Understanding Baby’s Cries
Babies cry or fuss to communicate their needs, feelings and preferences. Reasons could be hunger, discomfort like a dirty diaper, being too hot or cold, pain from diaper rash or other ailments, or food sensitivities. Sleepy babies might cry and fuss until they are held in a position soothing and comfortable to them. Spitting up or reflux is often attributed to crying but often, it is unrelated. Heartburn medicines do not help with crying. If your baby is acting abnormally, having a fever, vomiting, not feeding or gaining weight well, discuss this with your child’s doctor.
During early months of life, some babies may be growing well, be happy between periods of crying and have no illness, but they cry more than three hours per day and are hard to settle.
This type of crying is colic. The exact cause of colic is still unknown but is suspected to be related to an immature nervous system and a child’s ability to self-console. Colic is temporary and tends to be outgrown with maturity and time, with resolution around four to six months in the majority of infants.
If your baby has colic, what can you do? Some strategies include removing milk from your diet if you are nursing, as some babies could have cow’s milk protein sensitivity. If your baby is formula-fed, you can speak to your doctor about trying a broken-down formula. Avoid overfeeding your baby because this can cause your baby to be uncomfortable. Rocking your baby can create a steady, calming motion. Swaddling can sooth your baby too. Using a pacifier or walking your baby can also help. If you are thinking of trying probiotics or herbal remedies, remember to talk to your doctor before starting. As a parent, it is important to look after yourself. You need to get help with childminding and take a break if your baby cries too much. This can prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and potentially harming your child. Keeping your baby safe is vital.