The dos and don’ts of dealing with a crying baby

The constant crying of a newborn baby leaves many new parents feeling helpless and desperate. Here’s what you can do to help soothe your tot.

The dos and don’ts of dealing with a crying baby
 It’s important to understand why your baby is crying and to react with a calm and gentle approach.

Is your baby’s constant crying driving you crazy? Although all babies cry, some babies cry much more than others. Constant crying can cause parents to literally lose their minds! If you’re frazzled by your baby’s constant wailing, it’s important to remember that this too shall pass!

Crying is a normal way babies communicate and often signals that your baby is hungry, uncomfortable, upset, or simply in need of a cuddle. Most newborns reach a crying peak at about six weeks old. The good news is that their crying starts to decrease as they get older and, by three months old most babies only cry for about an hour a day. This is what is considered a “normal” crying pattern.

The following are some dos and don’ts which should be considered while dealing with a crying baby:

Do ensure your baby is getting enough sleep

Crying is often a sign that your baby is tired or overstimulated. Newborns can only stay happily awake for forty-five minutes to an hour or two at the most.

Don’t shake your baby or physically hurt her

Shaken baby syndrome, or abusive head trauma, is when a child’s brain is injured from physical abuse. Most cases happen when a parent or caregiver shakes a baby while angry or frustrated, often because the baby won’t stop crying. These injuries can cause permanent brain damage or death.

Do check whether your baby is comfortable

Tight, restrictive clothing can irritate delicate skin and should be loosened. If the room is hot put the fan on and open the windows. If the room is cold cover her with a soft blanket.

Don’t forget to check to see if the nappy is soiled

When a baby’s nappy is wet or dirty, it can feel uncomfortable against their fragile new baby skin. Often, changing a baby’s nappy will be all it takes to help soothe their cries.

Do give your baby attention

Pat your baby’s back or stroke her head and let her hear your soothing sound. Sometimes, playing soft music can help soothe a crying baby. Alternatively, taking your baby outside for a breath of fresh air might do the trick.

Don’t assume your baby is not hungry

Babies often go through growth spurts at the ages of three weeks, six weeks, three months, and six months. Your baby will most likely cluster feed during a growth spurt. This means babies may desire to eat for longer periods of time and more frequently. It’s also possible that the time of day when they’re most hungry will vary.

Do check your baby for signs of illness

If your baby has a fever, nose or ear discharge, swollen glands, skin rash, or appears to be in pain, consult your paediatrician immediately.