Baby’s crying seems to be such a distant history for Julia and I. Our children have grown up so fast that they are already into their early 20’s. They don’t cry now, at least they don’t cry in the ways that they did when they were babies. However, Julia and I can still remember how we “suffered” from their sharp and high pitched cries. Well, it is part of the price of being parents. You receive much blessings to have a bundle of joy when your child is born. At the same time, you receive the whole lot of challenges to deal with this “angel” gives to you – one of which is crying without apparent reasons in the middle of the nights. Therefore, to get prepared for parenting is so important. (Click here to read my related post)
If you have been parents for a while, you’ll notice that babies cry. You may become helpless and frustrated when you fail to understand the reasons. A piece of important information all parents need to know is this; Crying is a physiological process in the life of a baby. It is the most natural and normal way of communicating with others. Your baby is too young to utter words that can make sense to you, crying is the only way, whether you like it or not, for him to communicate his feelings and discomfort.
We have done some research, coupled with our own experiences, on babies crying which we think might be useful for new parents. These practical tips can be learned from most antenatal classes, which we strongly advice new parents to enroll for one. Julia and I attended one run by the National University Hospital (NUH) in Singapore when our first born was still inside mummy’s womb. The knowledge gained was invaluable. The practical sessions (using dummies though) on how to carry, feed and stroke the baby correctly, how to change nappies, how to bathe the baby, how to fulfill baby’s psychological needs etc. were overwhelming but useful. Yes. The class should be attended by both husband wife. It will come handy when your wife cannot handle the baby due to some unforeseen circumstances.
First we try to understand the typical situations when babies cry.
- When they are in physical need – When your baby is experiencing situations like hunger, wetting, too warm or cold, clothes are too tight and pain etc.
- When they are looking for companionship – Some babies need to have someone with him all the time or else he will just cry.
- When crying becomes a habit – Some babies will be crying without any cause, it becomes a habit, a nasty one though.
Babies crying may be considered as normal but parents and family members can get very worried. Why? Simply because babies cry for various reasons, sometimes the causes may lead to serious or even fatal consequences. In any case, babies crying shouldn’t be ignored. Adults have to identify the reasons, through your experiences or a physician, and manage it accordingly.
I read an article which give very practical tips for parents when your baby cries. I’d like to share it with you, hopefully you could take these practical steps and manage your “crying babies” wisely.
Is Your Baby Feeling Discomfort?
- Tight clothes can cause irritation hence it should be removed.
- If the room is hot put the fan and open the windows
- If the nappy is wet remove it and after cleaning the parts make it dry with a soft towel
- Pat him back or stroke his head slowly and let him hear your soothing sound
- Give breast milk and make him quiet
- If the climate is cold cover him in soft towel
- Rock him gently in your arms and walk slowly in the room. It is dangerous to shake the baby vigorously
- Take a music making doll and let him listen
- Try a pacifier or help him for thumb sucking
If the crying persists, you can do the following:
- Change his position
- Walk outdoors with him
- Put him on the cradle and rock gently
- Ask another person to carry the baby
Is Your Baby Sick?
When you have done all these, and yet the baby goes on crying, there may be some medical causes. You may use the following methods to look for signs of medical illnesses. (Probable cause is given after every sign)
- Press her abdomen gently, she may twist or resist you:—Colic
- Pull her ear gently she may become worse or push your hands away:—Earache.
- Feel her temperature with the back of your hands:–Fever due to any infection.
- Examine the skin from head to foot: Eruptive disease, nappy rash, measles, vesicles, allergy ect.
- See the nose for any discharge:–Coryza
- Move the head gently to feel any neck stiffness:–Meningitis, head injury ect.
- Keep your ear near her chest to hear any rattling sound:–Increased mucus in wind pipes. (pneumonia, bronchiolitis, asthmatic bronchitis ect)
- Examine the anal orifice:–Anal erosion, rectal polyp, crawling of worms.
- Examine the genitalia:–Any discharge or erosion.
- In male baby see the testicles which may be swollen or tender:– Orchitis, torsion of testes.
- Also notice the body movements and see for any convulsions, rigors, vomiting, cough, labored breathing ect.
If you see the above signs or any other abnormal signs consult your doctor for proper treatment
Remember, you are not a doctor. No matter how experienced you are in handling babies, when your baby is sick (or show signs of it), it is always prudent to consult medical professionals promptly. Your baby may need special medicine and medical procedures to recover from the sickness. Time is crucial. Don’t delay, it may cause even greater harm to your baby if you do.