How to take care of your crying baby Edit
Babies cry, it's the only way they can tell you they may need:
- To be held
- To feel loved
- To be fed
- To have their diaper changed
- To take away any discomfort they may have such as:
- Being hot or cold
- Being scared
Sometimes a baby may seem to cry more often than he/she should. Keep reading to see when it's time to call the pediatrician.
What to do if your baby cries a lot Edit
Remember that your baby is not crying to annoy you. There is something wrong, and your duty as a parent is to find what it is. Only in situations in which your baby spends a long time crying (generally more than an hour, non-stop and it keeps recurring) should you get alarmed or worried.
How do I know if my baby is crying too much Edit
Hard to tell unless we're age specific, let's talk about the age of your baby. That may have a lot to do with whether the amount of crying is normal.
Based on baby's age Edit
- Newborn - It's normal for a newborn baby to wake up crying every 1-2 hours. Once fed the baby should be patted on the back to burp. Attempting to burp can cause a lot of discomfort for such a little person; who came to the world recently. Your baby's organs are just beginning to get used to something they've never done before. It could take a month or two for his bowels to get the hang of it.
When a newborn seems to cry too much it is said that they are suffering from colics. Colic pain is usually associated with their digestive track. You can use gas relief drops (such as Mylicon) to help with gas. They can help a lot, but if they don't then; you can be sure your baby is crying because of something else. Consult your baby's pediatrician.
- Generally a breastfed baby shouldn't experience colic as much often as a formula fed baby.
How much should a newborn baby be pooping?: At least 3-4 times a day for a formula fed baby. However, generally your newborn baby should poop after every feeding (or basically as much as 8 times a day). If a day goes by and your baby doesn't poop, keep watch he might be getting constipated. With constipation, crying is inevitable.
- Another advantage of breastfeeding babies is that constipation is rare, until solid foods are introduced.
Call your baby's pediatrician immediately if your newborn doesn't poop in 2-3 days!
Remember that your newborn should be sleeping a good 14-16 hours a day, and it's normal he/she spends the rest feeding, crying, or quietly awake. If the baby is not sleeping at least 14 hours per day, and he/she seems to be crying instead; it's time to call the doctor.
- 3-9 Month old baby - As early as 3 months old, your baby may start to feel itching/discomfort in his/her gums due to teething. Make sure to have a nice teething ring. If your baby uses a pacifier (or a dummy), you should have a couple; as babies will drop them a lot when they're attempting to scratch their gums with it.
- You can also help by using a clean wet cloth towel or baby-wipe to scratch his/her gums.
How can I tell if my baby is teething?: The baby will be fuzzy, chewing on his pacifier or fist, and drooling a lot. It may seem like they're desperate to get something done about their mouth, like taking objects to help scratch their teething gums.
An older baby is not exempt from constipation. You will find that as soon as you introduce solid foods -to be on the safe side doctors usually recommend baby cereal around 5 months but I personally believe 6 months is the ideal age. Again, call your pediatrician if your baby doesn't poop by the third day.
Of Special Concern: Baby is still crying! Edit
Sometimes, even with all your attempts and best efforts to make your baby feel loved, comforted, clean, etc. he/she is still crying. Why?
Watch for your baby's hands, and the way he/she moves. Listen to his cries and try to feel what he/she is trying to tell you. Is the baby:
- Kicking his legs in a bicycle motion and crying uncontrollably? - Baby is in pain, may indicate colic, hold baby upward (head up), massage his/her tummy and back. Hold him/her with his/her back on your chest, this hold may help him/her pass gas, or burp.
- Reaching for his/her ear, eyes or nose, and cries often? - Baby may have an ear infection, and congestion. She/he may also be coming down with a cold. Colds are very common in babies, so make sure baby has plenty of fluids! If the baby is over 4 months old, baby juice is good between feedings. A younger baby may be given an ounce of water when they have a very runny nose, but if your baby is breastfed he should be getting plenty of fluids in breast milk. Consider breast-feeding more often, or every time your baby wants to.
- Baby is crying a lot, baby feels warm, no other signs? - Baby may have a fever, take his/her temperature with an ear thermometer. DO NOT use mercury thermometers, they're not only slow and therefore inaccurate; but they are also not recommended due to the health hazards of mercury. If your baby's temperature is 38.056˚ Celsius (100.5˚ Fahrenheit) you should call the pediatrician right away.
Other possibilities Edit
- Circumcision - Have you ever heard the saying "boys cry more than girls when they're born"? Sometimes this is due to boys being circumcised. If your son was circumcised, he may cry a lot the first three weeks. In which all the healing should have occurred. If circumcision isn't healed by the third week, you should consult the pediatrician.
- Other problems - By the 6th month your baby's pediatrician could perform certain tests on your baby to make sure his crying is not due to behavioral issues such as hereditary defects, birth defects, etc. Some tests may require your baby to be certain age as it may be too early to diagnose, such is the case for autism. Some conditions can not be fully and completely diagnosed until your baby turns 2 years old at least.