Have you ever had a newborn baby who would just cry and cry and no matter what you do they just won’t calm down? If yes, then you are not alone.
It usually starts late in the day, around bedtime. They will begin to cry for no apparent reason. You may think, maybe it is colic so you give them anti-colic medicine(gripe water), it won’t work. Then you think again, maybe they need a calm relaxing bath, that too don’t work. Maybe they need feeding but they won’t even take the food from you because they are busy crying. You have tried everything in the book and they are still crying in fact, they are getting louder and more upset.
First of all do not worry. It is probably hard to do given the situation and you might have even looked at the baby and asked “what is wrong with you ” or “what do you want” you are not shaking the baby or shouting at them, you are just genuinely looking for answers! won’t it be lovely if they can respond and tell us what’s wrong?
Crying is natural for babies. That is how they communicate with you. They are telling you something. Maybe they are over stimulated.
We live in the city and our baby is used to noise and sounds but sometimes I have noticed that she gets very upset when the older siblings are getting excited playing their video games, there is a program on tv and couple with the noise outside. It all becomes too much for her.
Another reason I have noticed is when she hasn’t had a good long nap during the day. Contrary to popular misconceptions, babies need a good morning and afternoon naps. Sleeping during the day does not mean they won’t sleep at night, in fact it helps to calm them down for the night and like a learned behaviour, it teaches them how to sleep.
Bearing these reasons in mind I do they whole thing the books recommend. Give her a bath, massage her body while moisturising her, add drops of oil to her head and massage her head gently. Clean fresh clothes, fresh diaper and feed her. A trick I use on her while feeding her and I noticed she wants to pull out and cry is to stroke her hair gently.
It may not seem it but most often times babies cry in the evening because they are tired and wants to sleep. They are feeling restless. They have not learnt fully how to settle themselves, this is why it is good to have a good routine and start teaching them to self soothe but they are babies and are still learning. So while we are teaching and waiting for them to get the hang of things, we can help them.
Find out what your child wants and likes. It is usually a variety of things. I will share some of my daughters with you
She likes to be carried so her head rest against my chest. I think it is so she can listen to my heart beats. Similar to when they were in the tummy. It might seem like I’m “spoiling her” but I see it more as we both keeping an ear out for each other. Making sure we are alive and our heart is ticking.
She likes her hair to be stroked gently. Especially the back hair. Luckily enough she is blessed with hair so there is something to stroke, if like my older daughter she didn’t have hair as a baby, I think I would just stroke her head.
She likes to be rocked in an upward and downward motion as supposed to the common side to side rocking of infants.
She enjoys a variety of sleeping positions. Sleeping on her tummy is her favourite. Followed by sleeping on her side facing me (we co-sleep and I nurse her on demand)
Lastly although she isn’t on a dummy or a sucks her fingers, she loves to put her hands on her mouth using her tongue to play with her fingers. It is actually quite cute to watch her sticking out her little tongue to touch the hands. If she’s not feeling her fingers with her tongue, she loves her hands close to her chin when sleeping on her tummy or clasped together (organically) while on her side.
I would like to point out that professionals do not support sleeping with a baby in your bed or putting a baby to sleep in a way other than on their back. So please check with your doctor and I am not a child expert. I am just a mom sharing my personal experience on how I manage to calm my baby down when almost everything else fails.