You’ve waited all those months for your baby but now the joy that he’s here is fast evaporating because he just won’t stop crying. He can’t yet tell you what’s wrong and it can be exhausting and frustrating trying to work out what the problem is. Here are some ways to help restore the peace.
Massage me, Mummy
Massage can calm an unsettled baby. Make sure the room’s warm before undressing him, then use olive or sunflower oil and gently stroke down his arms, legs, back and tummy – though never push down on his belly.
Hold me close
Babies often wail loudly if they’ve been startled or frightened. Holding him close will help to calm him, making him feel safe and secure. Or put him in a baby sling. That way he feels safe next to you, while you’re free to walk around.
Cure my colic
Colic is a common cause of crying in babies under 3 months, and involves a higher pitched cry than usual, pulling his knees up to his chest and going red in the face. Gentle pressure on his tummy may help, so hold him face down along your arm and gently rub his back.
Suck it to me
Sucking is part of your baby’s strongest instinct. If he’s upset and you’re not sure why, try offering a soother or your clean little finger to suck on. But make sure your fingernails are kept trimmed.
Make some noise
Your baby loves the familiar sound of your voice, so try singing a lullaby or playing soft music. Babies are also soothed by constant noise like the vacuum or washing machine. Put him into his baby seat while you get on with chores.
Did you know?
A normal healthy baby cries between one and three hours a day.
Get me moving
A change of scene can help, so go for a walk. If it’s raining, take him for a drive. Movement is also a great way to soothe a baby – it will remind him of the rolling sensation in the womb. Try rocking him in your arms, pushing his pram back and forward or swaying his bouncy chair.
Keep me comfy
Chances are your baby’s crying to let you know he’s uncomfortable. You’ll soon learn to decipher what his different cries mean, for example, ‘I need my nappy changed’, ‘I’m hungry’ or ‘I’m too hot.’
The gentle touch
There’s a theory that excessive crying can be the result of the skull being distorted during a stressful birth. Cranial osteopathy is said to help – a therapist applies light pressure to specific points to release built-up tensions. For info visit www.cranial.org.uk
For help settling your baby, call the Cry-sis helpline on 08451 228669 (from 9am-10pm daily) or visit www.cry-sis.org.uk