“I didn’t bathe him because I was too afraid he would slip out of my hands or his belly button would open. Then one night I woke at three A.M. certain he was rotting like a chicken carcass. Only as I lowered him into the sink did I realize this was a crazy time to wash a baby and I began to cry because he was so trusting—I could do anything and he would go along with it, the little fool.”
Isn’t this the most beautiful and truthful thing you ever read? So raw and so real. It’s exactly what happens with a new mother and exactly what a newborn is: TRUSTING
First week of motherhood is just heaven and you stare in awe not really believing that you created a human being. So tiny yet so perfect.
Come weeks three, four and so on, you will start showing the first signs of sleep deprivation and also your baby will start crying. A lot.
IS MY BABY BROKEN?
No. Your baby is not broken. Your baby is just doing what he/she knows best: express all feeling through CRYING. There are so many reasons out there and you’ll find yourself thinking you are clueless and useless at times because you got no idea how to make that baby stop. Well, your baby is fully dependent on you. Your baby grew inside of you and knows your heartbeat, your voice, your smell and your love. Specially when it comes to newborns, they don’t quite need daddy (sorry to say it), grandparents, aunties and uncles but mummy. First three months of your child life are considered the fourth trimester of pregnancy and therefore the little one will still be a hundred percent dependent on the mum. They learn how to live outside the womb, they learn to feed, see, touch and also sleep outside the womb.
When the little one cries is their way of communicating their needs and asking for your care and attention.
In time they will get better at this and they will make eye contact, they will smile or cringe and also make noises so your job will get a bit easier as you will definitely know the signs.
Until then, here are some of the most common reasons why a baby cries:
- I’M HUNGRY – especially when it comes to newborns, they are always hungry because their stomach is only so so tiny. In the cases of breastfeeding you can offer the breast for a feed at all times even if it seems like your little one just ate – it’s called feeding on demand and she/he’ll let you know when they had enough. In cases of formula feeding the baby won’t need just to feed just as often but maybe once every two-three hours. However, EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT and you have to consider this as well.
- I HAVE COLIC – this is everyone’s nightmare and sadly most babies will develop colic. Some worse than others. Your baby may become flushed and frustrated, and refuse your efforts to soothe her. She may clench her fists, draw up her knees, or arch her back. My daughter didn’t suffer much from colic but she had her episodes of crying for hours and we realised it was because she always got constipated and had trapped wind. Colic can also come from a certain intolerance or allergy so it’s best to keep calm and take it step by step. There is no cure for it. However, you can try keeping them on your tummy and slowly massaging their back – worked for us
- I AM TOO HOT/TOO COLD – Keep the temperature in your baby’s room between 16 degrees C and 20 degrees C. You can check if they feel cold or hot by feeling their tummy or the back of their neck. Don’t guide yourself by their hands or feet as it’s normal for them to be colder than the rest of their body
- CHANGE MY NAPPY – most babies don’t like to have a wet or solid nappy so they will protest by crying. Some won’t mind unless their skin is irritated. All I can say is that they don’t fancy the cold air or the wipes touch and they might still cry. You can help distract them by talking to them in a soft voice or singing to them.
- I WANT TO BE HELD – there is no such thing as holding your baby too much. They need your arms, your touch, your love and comfort. They need your voice and your calmness. Babies love to be held. You can try also singing softly as it will distract them and make them stop crying. If your arms get tired you can try a sling or carrier. It does wonders and in the same time you got your hands free so you can prepare the next meal, do some dishes or just enjoy a book
- I AM OVERTIRED – no baby can sleep peacefully if they are too tired. On the contrary. The more tired they get the more cranky and moody they will be.
Lots of attention from doting visitors may over-stimulate your baby and make it hard for them to sleep, as can too much rocking and singing. Try taking them to a quiet room after a feed and before bed to help them calm down and switch off.
- I AM ILL – there are so many reasons why a little baby might not feel well. Their immune system is not as strong as ours so they have to be protected against colds and flu. Thy might start teething (symptoms start way before the tooth come out). The most important things is that you know your baby best so if you feel like somethings is not right, contact your doctor or call the emergency number straight away.
There are an infinite reasons why your baby is crying and all you can do is help them calm and smile
Holding your baby is the best way to sooth him/her. They need constant attention and love. They need singing and smiles.
A baby takes all mum’s feelings so therefore if the mum is stressed, angry, frustrated and sad, the baby will just be the same.
HAPPY MUMMY HAPPY BABY
Play some calming music, eat healthy foods and bond with your little one. Nothing is more important than your arms and love for them.
Try and keep them away from places and surroundings where there is too much going on. They get overstimulated and they will cry.
If you tried calming your baby and nothing works it might all get overwhelming. When you get to that stage when you can’t control yourself it’s best to leave your baby safe and walk out the room. Calm yourself for few minutes and come back to help your little one.
Just remember that your baby has no communication skills, your baby is helpless and you are the one who can make him/her happy.
It’s all a phase and it will pass