Babies cry mainly to report hunger, fatigue, discomfort (dirty, too hot or too cold diaper), loneliness, or pain (indigestion, sickness). An infant may also cry because of excessive stimulation (too much noise, movement, or light), or because he or she is in an unusual environment or with unknown people.
Crying, How long does it?
From the age of 2 to 3 weeks, most babies experience intense crying for no apparent reason. Crying increases until around 6 weeks of age and then gradually decreases. However, crying duration and intensity can vary greatly from one child to another.
What are colics?
Some infants suffer from severe abdominal pain, commonly known as colic, which causes long and frequent crying. About 20% of infants suffer from colic.
There is no scientific consensus on colic causes, even though most people equate them with digestive problems (some doctors think that abdominal torsions may simply be a consequence of crying, not their cause).
What do we call “evening crying”?
Evening crying occurs, as the name suggests, in the evening. They are often linked to fatigue and excessive stimulation.
What are the main appeasement techniques?
In all cultures, parents combine a set of techniques to appease tears. Here are the main ones: swaddling the baby with a cloth; position baby on the side of the stomach, for example on the adult arm, swing or rock the baby; allow baby to suckle whisper continuously to baby’s ear. Other noises (such as a car engine or hairdryer) or lullabies can also have a soothing effect.
How to calm abdominal pain?
In abdominal pain cases, some parents do belly massages, offer a warm drink (eg herbal tea), give a bath, or apply a hot water bottle on their baby.
Should we always respond to a baby crying?
During the first months, an infant needs his parents to calm down. Responding quickly and consistently to crying helps reassure a baby, which reduces the frequency of crying thereafter.
However, there are also times when a crying baby can be left alone, safe in bed, especially if the parents feel overwhelmed after trying in vain to calm their child. It is also common that at bedtime, a baby cries before finding the calm to fall asleep.
What does “empowerment” mean?
Sleep consists of several cycles, with intermittent waking moments. For a baby to sleep all night without asking for his parents, he must be able to calm down and go back to sleep alone.
When is the right moment?
Some prefer to focus on the security sense, a baby feels when falling asleep in a father’s womb or arms, even if it is at the expense of empowerment. Each family must find a balance that is right for them, even if it means putting the empowerment process on hold.
What are recurring problems?
Sometimes parents are not particularly interested in making their baby independent or disagree with each other. In this case, their baby will continue to solicit them regularly.
How to avoid false expectations?
Often, nocturnal awakenings or refusal to go to bed is linked to erroneous expectations: parents try to make their child sleep longer than he really needs. By accurately noting a child’s sleep for several weeks, decisions can be made to better align parents’ expectations with the real child.
What to do when sleep changes?
Some babies who have been able to do their nights for a period can suddenly wake up and claim their parents again.
There may also be punctual awakenings, often related to tooth thrust or a transient illness. A suffering child needs more attention and comfort. Subsequently, it often takes discipline and a lot of patience to help the child regain his autonomy.