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A baby's cry can go on and on - it can be loud and so relentless and sometimes no matter what you do it seems it will never stop. However, we must remember that a baby's cry is a useful tool as a means to communicate. During the first few weeks a baby is completely helpless and has only one way to let you know he or she is not happy... and that is to cry!
Babies cry on average about 1 - 2 hours a day and we must realise that it is completely normal! If your baby is crying much more than this then perhaps you should seek expert advice, but for the most part it is okay! What makes it hard is when a crying baby cannot be comforted. No amount of cuddles, food, songs, rocking or pushing round in a buggy will make the crying stop. This is when it get stressful and difficult to cope with.
In order to stop the crying, we need to ascertain why it started int he first place... so here are a few reasons why babies cry.
Baby is hungry. Yesterday they were happy with small feeds, today they want more! So, in the first instance offer more milk. Their feeding needs fluctuate and growth spurts can catch you off guard. During a sudden growth spurt, feeding will often be more frequent.
Baby needs a cuddle. Perhaps baby is unsettled and hasn't had a cuddle for a while. Give a lovely warm cuddle and hold him for a while.
Wind. Perhaps he has some trapped wind which is making him uncomfortable. Try and burp him.
Dirty nappy. Perhaps she needs a change. Some babies don't even notice a dirty nappy. Others do. Sometimes just the activity of changing a nappy can distract a baby and stop the crying.
Temperature. He may be too hot or too cold. If he is warm and rosy, he may be overheating, so remove a layer. If he is pale and has cold feet, then put another layer on and make his warmer. The ideal temperature for a baby is around 20 degrees Centigrade.
Too much going on. A loud noise, a bright light, a police car siren, these unusual disturbances can unsettle a baby.
Bored. Even babies need a bit of stimulation. A teddy, a mobile, a ball in the cot or some nice music may soothe and entertain a new baby.
Unsettled. Perhaps your baby is facing a new situation that they are not used to? The first sessions with a new childminder and away from Mummy, or any other environment that is new could cause uncertainty and distress. Ease your baby gently into new situations.
If the crying seems unusually pitched or doesn't stop, then do seek medical advice - you recognise your own baby's cry better than anyone else and are best positioned to notice any abnormality.
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