Does your baby cry a lot during the night? Is she also very fretful during the day? If your baby cries a lot and it’s becoming very stressful, don’t worry and take a deep breath. There are things you can do to find out why your baby is crying and how to cope.
One of the first steps in helping to settle a cranky baby is establishing why your baby is crying. Ask yourself the following questions:
Is your baby hungry? Begin by offering your baby a feed because even if she is not done for one, she may be having a growth spurt and needs a little extra. When feeding your baby at night, try not to allow her to fall asleep over a feed.
Does your baby have wind? To release wind, begin by holding your baby upright. Then supporting her firmly against your shoulder, apply firm circular strokes against her back or gently pat her lower back until she manages to pass her wind.
Is your baby overtired or needing a nappy change? If they are overtired, place your baby down to sleep and leave them alone for a few minutes because sometimes over handling a baby can become an irritation.
Is your baby too hot or too cold? Be sure to check room temperature and look for signs she is sweating or too cold. Feel their tummy to get a good idea of their body temperature. The temperature in your child’s room should be around 18 degrees Celsius. Also make sure that if they are sleeping in a pram or cot, that the pram or cot is not in direct sunlight.
Is your baby in pain? Check that their clothing is comfortable and not too tight. Also, look for signs of nappy rash and at their gums to see if they might be cutting a tooth. If so, give your child a safe dose of infant painkiller.
Be sure to note, if your child is hot and/or crying inconsolably, as a different cry than normal or is listless, please seek immediate medical help.
If you’re unable to discover a reason for their crying, try placing your child on their side with one hand in the small of their back and one against their stomach. Then, gently rock them to and fro until they resettle, then place them back on to their back.
Don’t be afraid to hold and comfort your child if that calms them and try not to worry about losing sleep. This problem is often temporary and your baby needs your support right now.
It’s also important to understand that your baby isn’t crying on purpose. So, if you begin to feel upset or angry; put your baby down in a safe place and leave them alone for a few minutes and walk away. Take some deep breaths, have a cup of herb tea and when you feel calm again, return to them.
If you feel you’re unable to cope with your child’s crying, take time to discuss your options with your family, partner, health visitor or GP if you feel you’re not coping.