It’s a given that babies cry, a lot. It’s the only way for them to draw attention to what they need. However, during the first months of your child’s life, crying isn’t a conscious decision. At around six months, they get the trick though, and start consciously crying when they want attention. But how do you know when your baby needs comforting or when it is ok to let them cry it out?
Physical pain or discomfort can cause a baby to start crying. Cramps after feeding or an empty stomach can be reasons, but boredom can also be the cause. Babies don’t cry just like that; there is something that makes them cry. Your first instinct to comfort is therefore your best choice according to researchers. You make your child feel safe and secure, which will calm them down. The environment for a child up to one years old can be overwhelming, so this sense of security helps enormously.
No, you don’t have to put your nose in the cradle with every little sound, but with a good ear, you can often estimate how strong the call is. The tone of crying differs when a baby has a stomach ache, when they want to sleep or when they whine because it doesn’t want to sleep. Waiting a few minutes until you take a look can’t hurt. There are plenty of children who fall asleep more easily by crying for a moment.
Then, of course, there are the so-called crybabies. These are babies that cry for more than three hours over a period of 3 weeks. Don’t worry if your baby cries more than before. The crying normally becomes more frequent when the baby is about 7 weeks old. Your child may cry for more than 2 hours a day, but the time spent crying will slowly decrease.
Yes, such children require extra energy from their parents. You have to pick them up and calm them down, over and over again. Even if you know it will get better by itself, that period is not easy. Getting advice from a general practitioner or at the health clinic can help you during that time. You can also hire a patient babysitter, so you can get some time to recharge. After all, if you’re fit and happy, you’ll be able to handle the constant crying much better.
From a very young age, a child starts to feel the rhythm of the day. They can sense the end of the day, meaning bedtime, approaching. Giving them a routine (saying and doing the same things before bedtime) can help your child prepare for the night. Teaching them this routine will also come in handy for when they go into the toddler phase.
Predictability in the daily routine reduces the stimuli a child experiences. That way, they won’t get over stimulated and will cry less. An environment that radiates tranquillity can add to that. Don’t keep too many toys in or around the bed, for example.
Finally, trust your innate instinct as a mother. If you feel that your baby feels sick or is in pain, contact your family doctor to be sure. A doctor’s visit can provide the clarification you need and give you some well deserved peace of mind!