Why is my Baby Crying?
“Why is my baby crying?” That was probably the question I asked myself the most in the first few months of my first baby’s life.
Miss M was a ‘crier’ from day one. The only time she wasn’t crying was when she was feeding, the few minutes a day she seemed to sleep or when I was carrying her around in an upright position. Frantically. She just seemed to cry All. The. Time.
“She’s hungry” was the unwanted advice from old people. “Isn’t your mummy feeding you enough?” they’d ask her, while I grimaced into the back of their unhelpful heads. She wasn’t hungry, she fed all of the time and was a healthy weight.
She just seemed to cry a lot and as an anxious, first-time mum, it really distressed me. I didn’t understand why most of the other babies at my mums group seemed so much more placid than she was. They were happy to roll around on the floor, be cradled in their mum’s arms or lie happily in their prams.
Not Miss M – she was High Needs. I only found this out after googling “why is my baby crying” for the millionth time one day. It didn’t particularly explain the reasons why she cried but it helped me find solutions to make her happier and in turn, make me feel happier.
This is what we tried to ease the crying:
1. Baby wearing
Miss M loved being carried in an upright position (she had acid reflux and hated lying down as it was painful) so I started wearing her in a sling or carrier. Immediately she was a happier baby. She was calm and content being so close to me, she liked being able to see me and everything around her and she loved the rocking motion of me carrying her while I went about my day.
It also meant that I could get on with household chores and other errands while keeping her happy too and many times she fell asleep in the sling while I was doing the laundry – win/win!
2. Reflux diagnosis
I am certainly not suggesting that every crying baby has reflux by the way! Miss M had very clear signs of reflux as well as the crying. We could hear her gulping on it as she lay in her cot and the amount of spit up was far beyond that of a normal baby.
I went to see my doctor who after a very thorough examination prescribed her reflux medication and almost overnight, her symptoms were eased and she was so much happier. The crying subsided and she slept better simply because she had been in so much discomfort and pain before.
3. Bringing bedtime forward
This one is purely related to the fact that she was over tired. We had been keeping Miss M up with us until our 10pm bedtime and it just wasn’t working for her. Eventually we encouraged more of a day and night routine for her which she really seemed to love. She’s a creature of habit like me and I think she was much more relaxed by following a nap and bedtime routine. We started putting her to bed at 7pm every night and after getting much more sleep, she was a happier camper in the day time.
4. Getting help
When Miss M was a newborn, I lived on the other side of the world to my family and I did find it hard not having much support nearby. If a friend suggested looking after Miss M or taking her for a walk every now and again, I jumped at the chance and I can’t recommend this highly enough.
It’s so important for new parents to get a rest break from time to time to recharge your batteries. When I’m tired, I’m stressed and irritable and she must have been able to sense that and in turn, be upset herself. As they say, a happy mum means a happy baby :)
5. Talking to other mums
Going back to the mums group I joined, it was so reassuring to me to meet a group of other new mums who were experiencing the same first-time mum issues as me. I no longer needed to worry that I was a bad mum or not in control as in the group of 8 of us, there was always at least one other mum going through the same thing. As much as I didn’t want any of them to have an upset baby at all, it was at least reassuring that I wasn’t alone.
Babies cry. Some of them cry a little bit. Some of them a lot. Some of them cry straight for 3 months and then stop – that was my baby! She hit the 3 month mark and the crying ended. It may have been down to a combination of us trying the above or it may have been age related. Or it may have been for no specific reason at all!
It is perfectly normal for a newborn baby to cry for 1-4 hours a day as they adjust to life outside of the womb. They cry when they’re hungry, tired or in pain.
Sometimes there is no logical reason for a baby to cry and we attribute those cries to them being colicky babies.
Colic is a medical term for excessive and frequent crying in a baby who appears to be otherwise healthy and well fed. It usually begins within the first few weeks of life, but often stops by the time the baby is four months old and by six months at the latest. In most cases the intense crying occurs in the late afternoon and the baby may clench their fists and draw their knees up to their tummy or arch their back.*
Nelsons Colica® Colic Granules is a homeopathic medicinal product used within the homeopathic tradition for the symptomatic relief of colic in babies over one month of age. Nelsons Colica Colic Granules contains a unique formulation of 30c potencies of natural Citrullus colocynthis and Dioscorea villosa.
Nelsons Colica Colic Granules costs £5.80 and are available from Boots, Tesco, Asda and Superdrug.
Always read the label.
* If you are concerned about your baby’s symptoms or their excessive crying you should seek advice from your GP.
Disclosure: this is a sponsored post in collaboration with Nelsons.