Hush Little Baby, Don’t You Cry

Being a new mom, you are naturally excited about bonding with your baby. Unfortunately, your little bundle of joy cannot seem to stop crying! Wait, do not join your baby in a burst of tears just yet. This is common and perfectly normal, so do not worry. There are ways to soothe your crying baby:

  • Is baby in any pain or discomfort? Make sure baby is neither too warm nor too cold. Check his diaper regularly and change it if necessary. Look for signs of pain, identify its cause (eg. insect bites, rashes, an ear infection or colic) and then find a remedy for it.
  • Feed baby. In the first few months, hunger is often the biggest reason for crying. Feed baby on demand, even if it means frequent feeds throughout the day and night.
  • Rock baby gently. Rhythmic movements can comfort a cranky baby. Put him in your arms and move back and forth gently. Lullabies can be calming too.
  • Cuddle baby. If your baby is left on his own for too long or being held by friends and relatives, he may wail for your attention. Once in the safe haven of your arms, he is likely to quieten down. Carrying him with his tummy on your chest may also comfort him.
  • Pat baby. Soothe baby by patting his back or tummy softly. This may also help him bring up wind.
  • Distract baby. If all else fails, amuse and distract: try a rattle, colourful cards, a mirror (babies love looking at themselves) or simply pull a funny face!

In time, you will be able to recognise your baby’s different cries. If his cries are unusually loud and prolonged, something may be wrong. Trust your instincts and get medical help if you think your baby needs it.

If your baby cries regularly at a certain time of the day, usually in the late evening, he may have colic. Colic appears at about three weeks and disappears by age 3 months. Baby will be inconsolable and may cry for up to three hours. As nerve-shattering as this is, there is nothing seriously wrong with a colicky baby. Comfort him as best as you can. Get your spouse or a babysitter to take over and give yourself a break in the evening once or twice a week. Your doctor may prescribe colic medication. Baby massage may help soothe a colicky baby.

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