Babies cry for each of their needs but excessive crying can be frustrating and disturbing. Crying for a known reason is understandable and can be easily controlled but when a baby cries excessively for no reason or for reasons you are unable to figure out, it will take you a lot of time and efforts to comfort such an inconsolable child. I have had some moments like this that I became helpless and started shedding tears along with my baby. I asked myself questions that I didn’t even have any definite answers to; what could be wrong with her? Have I done something wrong? Has she not been well fed?……… I tried so many ways to comfort her, she just wouldn’t stop crying until she decided on her own to stop crying or perhaps until she was relieved from any inconveniences that I couldn’t figure out. Fortunately for me, I have a mother in law who is well experienced in nursing a child and she’s very patient. She stayed with me for the first three months after birth and throughout her stay, she never for once got upset about the baby’s cry…. You now understand what I meant by “she’s very patient”. I was quite the opposite though.
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Owing to my mother in-law’s shared knowledge and experiences, I realized that the cause of my baby’s excessive crying was colic. Colic is a common phenomenon that happens to all babies. It usually starts between two to four weeks after birth and probably lasts for about three to four months. Colic happens persistently and this could mean that when it begins, your baby may cry continuously and won’t be comforted no matter what you do. There may be days when a particular soothing technique may work however, be prepared for days when no soothing methods would work. This can be frustrating I know, but believe me when I say those are the joys of motherhood.
Although there are other needful reasons why your baby cries, colic may seem very difficult to manage and in most cases, make nursing a child at early stage uninteresting especially for new mothers. Below are methods you can try out to soothe your baby while crying either due to colic or other reasons.
- Be familiar with your baby’s signals. This is very important as it will help you to recognize some of her pre-cry signs and understand her reason for crying. Once you see one or all of these signals, offer her a feed or rock her to sleep before her crying gets more intense and uncontrollable. In a case where your baby starts crying without showing any pre-cry signs, calmly hold her or place her on your chest and rub her back until she’s calm. You can then offer her a feed.
- Adopt responsive feeding. This implies that you should feed your baby anytime she seems hungry, rather than timing her periods of feeding. Timing your baby feeds is a good disciplinary idea however, your baby may feel hungry in-between the periods set. So rather than wait until she becomes aggressive with her need and start crying, you should address and attend to her need accordingly.
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- The unsettled feed may result in inconvenience and crying of your baby. Thus, burp your baby after every feed by holding her over your shoulder, sitting her upright on your lap or you place her stomach down on your lap then gently pat or rub her back to bring upwind.
- Some babies enjoy sucking on soft objects like the thumb of their fingers, the middle finger, and so on. If your baby happens to fall in this category, give her access to this object (it must be edible and not harmful) when she’s crying, sucking on it may soothe her.
- Gentle massage of your baby’s this tummy in clockwise movements to help move along trapped wind and poo may also be required to soothe your restless baby.
- Try to recreate the swaying motion your baby enjoyed while in the womb by rocking or swinging her in a bouncy chair or on a swing.
- You can also take your baby for a drive in the car or a walk in a baby stroller along a quiet road. The whooshing sounds of the vehicle wheel from the quite road or pavement may soothe your baby. While in the vehicle, you may play some cool music in a low tune, this also helps.
- Place your baby in a serene environment where there are low or no noisy activities as too much of noise may render her restless.
- Exposure to cold weather will make your baby uneasy and cries a lot, you should often choose a warm bath for your baby. After all, she spent months immersed in warm amniotic fluid, so she will find a warm bath very comforting.
Adopt these methods to soothe your baby when she cries and thank me later sorry, thank my amiable mother-in-law later as these are her techniques in soothing my babies and they are very effective.
You may have other effective techniques that you have or still using to soothe your baby when she cries, don’t hesitate to share with us. Your comments and recommendations are always welcomed.
Thank you for reading.