Crying: the universal language of the newborn. We don't always like it, but for the baby it's the only way to communicate. And they are quite capable of it! In the first six weeks after birth they can cry two to three hours a day. Moms and dads, we got your back. We'll give you tips on how to comfort your baby.
Why your baby is crying
Every sob and gasp is different, of course, but we make a rough distinction between two types of crying in babies: trauma crying and need crying.
Your baby needs something! Since your little one can't talk yet, he will start crying when his needs aren't met. Go baby! These can be anything from hunger, the need for a warm cuddle (absolutely right!) or cramps (Baby therapy: 'talking' to the baby). Is your baby rubbing his eyes or reaching for his ears? Chances are he needs a nice nap. Does your baby wiggle its legs and is red in the face? Then he probably has to burp or he suffers from cramps (Parents of Now).
Getting your baby's every need met? Then it's probably trauma crying. You discuss unpleasant events with a good friend or with your partner. Your baby can't do that and processes his impressions of the day by crying it out. This form of crying is often much more intense than need crying and is often accompanied by a lot of tension in the body and clenched fists. By crying through trauma he will be able to tell you everything he has been through and in this way your baby will regain his balance and make sure that all the pent-up tension leaves his body. Chances are that after his crying fit, your baby will be lying quietly and attentively in your arms and you will be able to hear the sound of the TV again (Why your baby cries and how you can comfort your child).
Give yourself time to get to know your baby and his or her signals. It may take a while before you are able to link all the body signals and sounds to certain needs or shortages, but often after just a few weeks you will know why your little one is crying and how best to comfort him or her.
When do you let your baby cry?
Crying, unfortunately, is part of life and because it is one of babies' few means of communication, they often use the tears to get the parents' attention. And often with success! But be careful not to rush into every crying fit. It's not always a good idea to comfort your baby right away (Baby therapy: 'talking' to the baby). Sometimes he is processing emotions or the impressions of the day. We all know that, right? A good cry after which you feel a lot better.
How do you comfort your baby?
Doesn't your baby want to stop crying? Then use the following tips to comfort them.
Hug, hug, hug, repeat. You can't give your baby enough hugs! Physical contact is extremely important in the first few weeks. It helps you build a bond with your baby and makes them feel safe and comforted.
Not enough cuddling yet? Carry the little one with you in a sling. After nine months in the womb it is nice to carry him as close to you as possible. For the baby it is very nice and for you very convenient, because you have your hands free for other things. That nice cup of coffee is not going to happen by itself.
Chatting with your baby
It is good to talk to your baby. This will give him a sense of empathy and make him feel understood. This can be anything - a shopping list or what you're going to do for the rest of the day. As long as your baby can listen to the sweet sounds of your voice.
Sucking provides comfort. And so giving your baby a pacifier can be a good solution to calm him down. It also reduces the risk of cot death because the pacifier ensures that the airway remains open and your baby is less likely to turn over on his tummy (EOS Science).
On average, babies start teething at four months of age. This is not a good time for the baby (and for you), because there is a lot of pressure on the gums, which leads to pain and other complaints. A teething ring can provide a nice relief and reduce the discomfort that the little one experiences. The teething ring from NurtureGoods is made of 100% natural rubber, soothes the gums while helping with sensory development.
To wean or not to wean?
Good question! The pacifier can be very effective when it comes to comforting your baby, but handle it properly. If you offer the pacifier from birth, your baby may become confused and, in the worst case scenario, may refuse breastfeeding. This is because the sucking technique required for a soother is very different to that used for drinking at the breast. So only give your baby a pacifier if you have already fed him and he no longer needs it.
It is best to wait at least six weeks after the birth before giving your baby a dummy or pacifier. By then, your baby has developed sufficient sucking technique and breastfeeding is sufficiently established (Why your baby cries and how you can comfort your child).
If, after a while, you consider feeding your baby with the bottle and purchasing a pacifier, the NurtureGoods teat an ideal option for your baby. This ultra-soft teat is flexible, and with its spiral design, more closely resembles the breast. The comfort cushions and natural shape of the nipple ensure natural nipple positioning and make it easy to combine breast and bottle feeding.
Every baby is different. Give yourself time to get to know your little one and eventually you will be able to recognise all the signals and cries. It is important that you remain relaxed, and then your baby will be fine. Before you know it, he will start acting up and you will start longing for the old days.