How To Cope With Your Baby Crying
How To Cope With Your Baby Crying
Child sleep specialist, Andrea Grace, lends her expert advice on how to cope when your baby cries during the night. VideoJug shows you how to look after your child when it cries during the night.
Step 1: Try to establish WHY your baby is crying
Is she hungry? Try offering a feed. Even if she is not yet due for one, she may be having a growth spurt and need a little extra. If you feed her during the night, however, try not to allow her to fall asleep over her feed.
Does she have wind? Try holding her upright, supporting her firmly against your shoulder and applying firm circular strokes, or gently patting her lower back until she manages to pass her wind.
Is she over tired? Try putting her down to sleep and leaving her alone to settle. Sometimes over handling a baby can be just plain irritating for her!
Is she too hot or too cold? Look for signs that she is sweating or cold. Feel her tummy to get a rough idea of her body temperature. Check the room temperature; it should be around 18 degrees Celsius. Also, during the day, check that she or the pram or cot are not placed in direct sunlight.
Does her nappy need changing?
Is she in pain? Check that her clothing is comfortable and not over tight and then check her for nappy rash and look at her gums to see if she is cutting a tooth. If necessary, give her a safe dose of infant painkiller.
If she is hot and/or crying inconsolably; the nature of her cry is different to normal, or she is listless, you will need to seek immediate medical help.
Common medical reasons for excessive crying at this age include:
• Nappy Rash
• Ear ache/infections
These conditions, although challenging at the time, tend to be temporary and respond well to medicines. Of course there are more serious illnesses which might account for your baby's excessive crying and it needs to be stressed once more that if your baby is unsettled and seems in any way different to her normal self you should always seek immediate medical help.
Step 2: What to do if you can't find a reason for her crying
If after all the checks she continues to cry, try the following:
Place her on her side with one hand in the small of her back and one against her tummy. Gently rock her to and fro until she resettles, then place her back on to her back.
If that doesn't work try rocking her in your arms, but as soon as she begins to calm down and become sleepy, place her back into her cot and comfort her there.
Offer her a milk feed, but do not allow her to fall asleep whilst sucking. As soon as she has had enough or is starting to become sleepy, finish the feed, wind her well and then place her back into the cot. Comfort her there if you need to until she has gone to sleep.
Step 3: If all else fails...
Don't be afraid to hold and comfort your baby if that calms her.
Try not to worry about losing your own sleep. You are stronger than you think you are. This is temporary and your baby needs you right now.
Allow others to comfort her if they offer; and try not to feel undermined if they succeed. Sometimes it is just the change of scene that helps.
Remember that your baby is not crying on purpose. If you find yourself getting angry; put her in a safe place and leave her on her own for a few minutes whilst you walk away, have a little weep, take some deep breaths or telephone someone for moral support. When you feel calm again, you can return to her.
Talk to your family, partner, health visitor or GP if you feel you are not coping.
Ring the “Cry-sis” helpline. This is an organization set up to support and advise the parents of crying babies.