These are all things that I have learned that I wished I knew right away. All babies are different and you are going to get lots of advice. It won’t hurt my feelings if you feel that these things aren’t right for you. These are just the things that were right for me. Above all else trust yourself. Your baby is your baby and so you are the only one who will know exactly what he or she needs.
I learned lots about crying in the beginning. My daughter cried frequently because she had such a sore tummy. She cried more than average. I have had some friends whose babies hardly cried at all. It is entirely possible that your baby will rarely cry but if your baby does I want to tell you about what I have learned from my daughter crying. As a general rule most of the time when my daughter cried it was because of gas. Regardless of the reason the only way to ease the crying is to figure out the source and try to alleviate it.
- Gripe water is safe to give to newborns my daughter got the maximum dose every day for two months. That was when I switched to Oval. Oval is the brand name. The active ingredient that you are looking for is SIMETHICONE. SIMETHICONE is not absorbed by the body; it goes straight through the digestive tract and is very effective. Anyone I know who had a colic baby used Oval. I don’t know how young a baby can be and take Oval but I’m sure they can be quite young; that is a good question for a doctor. My daughter started at around 8 weeks. Don’t give both on the same day. Use one or the other. Oval is far superior to gripe water.
- Try to find a dropper that has a bulb on the top rather than the syringe kind. The bulb kind is best for giving gripe water because if you put it in your baby’s mouth he or she will suck the gripe water right out without you having to squeeze it. * My daughter always had about 5 seconds after taking the gripe water where it sounded like she was having a hard time breathing. I asked my doctor about this and he said that because she was so small when she was born that her throat was extra small too so it took a little extra for her to swallow some things. If you notice this it is really scary but apparently nothing to worry about. Regardless this is another reason that I prefer Oval because it never caused her to choke.
- Babies are very vulnerable and because of this anything new scares them. When I started giving my daughter naps instead of letting her sleep while I was holding her she was fussy for three days because the change freaked her out. This also happened when I changed her days and nights around. She even cried the first time I put cream on her face because it was new.
- You will be able to tell the difference between a serious “something’s wrong” cry and just regular crying. So if baby spends a whole day crying that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to take him or her to the doctor. The baby might just be really upset because something has changed. You will be able to tell by the type of cry if he needs medical attention. Sometimes babies cry all day because they are tired or teething. Babies can also cry for about three days any time anything in their schedule changes.
- If a baby is crying for long time and you have fed, changed, burped, tried all the usual things and nothing is working it is a good idea to undress the baby completely and look for red marks on the skin that could indicate that a tag or something inside their clothing is scratching them and to check toes to make sure no string or hair is wrapped around them. The only way they can tell you something is wrong is to cry and sometimes it might not be what you expect.
- The good thing about crying is that the baby will have an awesome sleep after a crying fit because it is really good exercise for them.
- If your baby has a particularly fussy day I have heard that it can really help to listen to your iPod while holding your baby. Often if your stress goes down then so will his or her’s. This has never worked for me because if I can’t hear her I actually feel more stressful. But it is certainly worth a try.
- Try not to become complacent if your baby cries more than average. Babies don’t cry for no reason. Sometimes parents just have a hard time figuring out why they are crying. Regardless, when baby is crying this is a good time to develop trust that you will always be there when he or she needs you.
- It is important to note also that babies don’t cry because they are upset with their parents. They cry to tell you that they are upset. I remember once my daughter looked sad so I started singing to her and then she really started crying. I thought to myself I better stop singing because it made it worse. It is more likely that she was just trying to tell me that she was feeling sad/ sick/ lonely/ frustrated etc. It had nothing to do with the singing. She was just crying because I was there to listen to her communicate with me. Don’t take it personal.
- Sometimes a baby will cry for so long that new needs come up and even though she or he was not hungry when he or she started crying baby may be hungry now. So just go through the list (hungry, sleepy, bored, lonely, gassy, in pain, too hot, too cold, irritated by clothing and over stimulated) over and over again until they stop crying.
- If a baby seems to have colic it can help to hold them straight up and down rather than laying in a reclined position. When they are upright this helps prevent gas from getting trapped.
I learned all of these things through experience. All babies are unique. Some of these suggestions may not work for you. Some of these suggestions could be life savers. I hope that this has provided a little help and encouragement in what can be a difficult time. If you have any tricks that have worked well for you that I have not listed here please by all means share them below. I have lots to learn too.