One of the most difficult things for new parents is not knowing why their baby is crying. Crying lets you know that the baby needs your help. Here are more tips and info on how to deal with crying.
One of the most difficult things for new parents is not knowing why their baby is crying. Crying lets you know that the baby needs your help.
Crying is a form of communication –– he may be hungry, lonely, sleepy or over stimulated. Crying is not easily ignored and is not meant to be.
Many babies are great at self-calming while others need help to self-calm. Recreating the womb –– life before being born –– may help.
The womb is a well-organized environment: warm, secure and tight. Babies are lulled by the swaying rocking motion and rhythmic sounds, such as mom's heartbeat. In the womb, babies eat 24 hours a day if they need to.
Parents can recreate the womb atmosphere after the birth of their baby with soothing and calming techniques. Some techniques that calm the infant include:
Swaddling. This recreates the tight, secure feeling the baby experienced in the womb.
Rhythmic sounds. You can play classical music and lullabies, read poetry and nursery rhymes, or use white noise.
Motion. In the uterus, the baby was used to a lot of motion. To recreate this dance with the baby, you can rock the baby, use a stroller or take car rides. Swings also calm babies.
Parents should not spoil an infant by responding to cries immediately. Research teaches that holding and rocking will not create a demanding child. By promptly responding to infant cries, the infant learns to build trust.
Infant sleep cycles are shorter than adults, with more light sleep than deep sleep. Studies show that many babies awaken two to three times each night from birth to 6 months of age.
The American Academy of Pediatrics now suggests infants should start out sleeping on their backs in their parents' rooms, but not in the parents' bed. Many parents have elected to use infant co-sleepers, which is a side car so that baby has his or her own place to sleep and can be slid into mom's space to feed and back to their space to sleep.
Research suggests babies tend to become less irritable and cry less often over the first year of life if parents respond to cries
Barbara Schemmer, RN, BC, IBCLC, and Elizabeth Lovekamp, RN, BC,CBE, LCCE, are registered nurses in Memorial Medical Center's Family Maternity Suitesin Springfield, Ill. They have both practiced in obstetrics for more than 29 years.