HOW TO CALM A CRY­ING BABY

Ba­bies can fuss as much as two to three hours in a 24-hour pe­riod, and deal­ing with a wail­ing baby isn’t easy. Try these strate­gies to calm your baby down.

Mother & Baby - - CONTENTS - BY SHRUTI SHUKLA

What to do when your baby won’t stop cry­ing

Only when we be­come par­ents do we re­alise that hav­ing chil­dren is a big bless­ing, and tak­ing care of them a big­ger re­spon­si­bil­ity. Look­ing af­ter these tiny hu­mans who are en­tirely de­pen­dent on us, es­pe­cially at an age where they are un­able to voice their needs and con­cerns, can be a daunt­ing af­fair for many.

WHAT MAKES BA­BIES CRANKY?

“In­fants are a bun­dle of anx­i­ety while tod­dlers tend to ex­pe­ri­ence a mix of emo­tions from anx­ious­ness to a con­stant need for at­ten­tion,” ex­plains Dr Nikky Me­hta, pae­di­a­tri­cian, and neona­tol­o­gist at SalPra, Mum­bai. Cry­ing at night or when left alone in the cra­dle, cranky be­hav­iour when sur­rounded by many peo­ple, and dis­ap­proval when left with a babysit­ter are a few sce­nar­ios moth­ers have re­ported to be specif­i­cally

dif­fi­cult when it comes to han­dling their lit­tle ones. Dr Kailash Saini, MD Pae­di­atrics from Surya Hospi­tal Jaipur, helps us un­der­stand var­i­ous rea­sons why kids get fussy. “They largely fall in two buck­ets — phys­i­o­log­i­cal causes and patho­log­i­cal causes. The for­mer cov­ers like a drop or rise in tem­per­a­ture, crowd and stranger-anx­i­ety, inad­e­quate feed­ing, noise, and tight cloth­ing. The lat­ter, how­ever, comes ac­com­pa­nied with more se­ri­ous con­cerns like fever, re­sis­tance to­wards feed­ing, seizures, burn­ing sen­sa­tion while pass­ing urine and pneu­mo­nia.” While phys­i­o­log­i­cal causes can be eas­ily tack­led at home, patho­log­i­cal causes should be brought un­der a pro­fes­sional’s no­tice at the ear­li­est.

DEAL­ING WITH A CRY­ING BABY AT NIGHT

While the first cry of a baby is

a dream come true that marks the health and well­ness of the new­born, the sleep­less nights that fol­low due to con­stant cry­ing and re­sis­tance is no less than a night­mare. Those mo­ments are not only hard for the child but also for the mother, likely to make her tired and rest­less. “Moth­ers com­plain that chil­dren cry more dur­ing the night. This is be­cause the day-night sys­tem takes around three months to kick in. There­fore, darker sur­round­ings at night ini­ti­ate feel­ings of anx­i­ety in in­fants.” Dr Me­hta tells. He fur­ther adds, “What I rec­om­mend to moth­ers is to carry the kid around, talk­ing to her, or singing a lul­laby can also help. If care­tak­ers feel tired, they can play some soft mu­sic so that the child feels that some­one is around. Or sim­ply don’t turn the lights off at night.”

UN­DER­STAND STRANGER-ANX­I­ETY

Do crowded places like stores or get-to­geth­ers make your lit­tle one un­com­fort­able? Is your baby cranky around his babysit­ter? If the an­swer is yes, your baby is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing stranger-anx­i­ety. “Stranger-anx­i­ety is seen in chil­dren af­ter 8-9 months. This is the time when they start be­ing more vig­i­lant about their sur­round­ings and take time to get friendly with strangers, which ex­plains the oc­ca­sional crank­i­ness.” Dr Me­hta re­solves this com­mon con­cern. “This be­hav­iour varies from in­di­vid­ual to in­di­vid­ual, de­pend­ing on many fac­tors like genes, home en­vi­ron­ment, etc. Hence, there are no set guide­lines.” He adds. Give your baby time to get ac­quainted with this new world. It’s best that the baby is ac­com­pa­nied by the mother or a close fam­ily mem­ber at all times in or­der to help him beat stranger-anx­i­ety. In due course, your kid will be­come fa­mil­iar with her babysit­ter too. As a rule of thumb, happy moth­ers nur­ture happy kids. Happy par­ent­ing!

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