I think that a baby crying can be one of the worst sounds in the world. “The sound of a baby cry captures your attention in a way that few other sounds in the environment generally do,” said Katie Young of the University of Oxford, who led the study looking at how the brain processes a baby’s cries. Scientists have found that our brains are hard-wired to respond strongly to the sound, making us more attentive and priming our bodies to help whenever we hear it – even if we’re not the baby’s parents.
Now this is no help for you as a Mum coping with a crying baby, if you are feeling a bit wild-eyed and dazed from it all then we have compiled a list of things to do to try to help your baby along with some contacts for more information.
Could Baby be Hungry or Thirsty?
Offer bottle or breast, even if they have only just fed, they may be cluster feeding or having a growth spurt.
Is Baby in Pain ?
If you think baby is in pain then get them checked over by doctor or health visitor.
- Try gently massaging baby‘s tummy in a clockwise direction
- Try changing baby‘s position
- Pick baby up, walk around with him/her – a baby sling can be helpful
- Try gently rocking baby up and down
Is Baby tired but fighting sleep ?
- Quiet background noise can soothe babies – ticking clock, vacuum cleaner, washing machine etc.
- Check that baby is comfortable – clothes not too tight
- Check baby isn‘t too hot or cold – feel tummy to gauge temperature
- Motion can help babies sleep, try a car ride or a pram walk in the fresh air.
Is Baby Fighting at the Breast ?
- Check baby‘s position at the breast, most of your nipple should be inside the baby‘s mouth
- Check baby‘s nose is free of the breast (his/her head should be tilted back slightly)
- Check whether baby‘s nose is blocked and consult GP or Health Visitor accordingly
- Consult Health Visitor, GP or a Breastfeeding counsellor if you are still experiencing problems
Is Baby generally Cranky ?
- Talk to your baby
- Let baby kick, nappy-free
- Try using a baby sling to carry baby around, some babies feel soothed when carried.
- Try a bouncing chair or a baby play gym if old enough
- Take baby out in pram or buggy for some fresh air for you both
- Visit a friend
Still Crying ?
- Put baby down in a safe place, walk out of the room and shut the door, take a short break
- Give baby to a trusted friend or family member for a few hours if possible
- Use any time away from baby to look after yourself
- Eat well and unwind
- Go out with baby
- Phone your GP, Health Visitor, NHS Direct, The Cry-sis Help line, friend or relative
I was quite lucky as neither of my babies cried too much and they were both quite good sleepers which I think does make a big difference to your sanity. I used to rock my eldest to sleep sitting on a big yoga ball and that seemed to do the trick in the early days. Eventually she moved to her cot in our room and would go to sleep on her own. Don’t worry if the only thing that works for you is carrying baby around, soon they will be wanting to get down and crawl around and explore. The real “baby” stage doesn’t really last that long even though it may seem that it is never-ending at the moment. Look after yourself when you can and remember to ask for help if you need it.
We would love to hear some of your top tips for coping with a crying baby, what worked for you and what didn’t ?