5 reasons why your infant cries out loud

Infant criesA new-born’s first cry is joy to a parent’s ears as it shows first signs of life. But as you progress into parenthood, incessant crying by infants can cause stress, anxiety and feeling of helplessness. It’s important to understand that for a toddler — yet to develop language skills — crying is the strongest and most effective way of communicating her needs as well as discomfort and distress. Here are 5 most likely reasons why your infant may be crying out loud.

Stomach pain. Infants often swallow air while feeding, which causes flatulence aka abdominal gas. They could also be allergic to a new food or suffer constipation. Usually babies communicate pain through facial expressions and kick their hands and legs vigorously.

To relieve gas, lift her legs and move them back and forth, with knees bent. Burping the baby after every feed also helps.

Hunger. Infants sometimes cry out for a feed even when you think they have already had their fill. In such cases breastfeed again. Also little tots experience high growth spurts and may need to consume more food than usual.

Fatigue. A long day of travel or play can make infants tired and sleepy. Loud music and dramatic visuals can also disturb infants. Switch off the television, turn down lights, give your baby a warm bath and massage, and let her unwind and sleep well.

Dirty diapers. Infants are often uncomfortable because of diaper rash or wet and dirty diapers. Check and change diapers as often as needed. However give your tiny tot some diaper-free time, to let the skin breathe. Use corn flour instead of talcum powder to keep her dry.

Weather woes. That refreshing breeze of a ceiling fan could be too much for a new-born while an over-dressed infant could sweat profusely. Infants are more sensitive to temperature than adults. During winter, use layers of clothing but be sensitive to the changing temperature and remove one or two layers if needed.

Teething. If your child is being fussy and crying without reason, teething troubles is a likely reason. Freeze a wet towel (soaked in drinking water) and allow them to suckle it to ease the discomfort. Also wash your hands in boiled, cooled water, and massage their gums to provide quick relief.

If none of these reasons explain incessant bawling, find ways to distract her attention by playing with her. She could be bored or want a change of scene. Taking a walk can also help her settle down.

Observe your infant’s reactions closely and you are likely to understand her demands better. The body language of infants reveals symptoms of distress. For instance, some children indicate distress by touching a body part that feels itchy or sweaty.

Comforting weepy infants can be overwhelming for new mothers. Allow your spouse, parents and others to soothe a crying baby. A change of hands can help your baby focus on someone new and give you a much-needed break as well.

Parvathy Menon

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EducationWorld May 2020
ParentsWorld December 2019

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