Cry­ing baby driv­ing you crazy?

Jamaica Gleaner - - WESTERN FOCUS - DR DOU­GLAS STREET

THERE ARE few things than can ter­rorise a mother more than a cry­ing baby that won’t be con­soled. It’s even worse if she is tired from get­ting up fre­quently at nights to at­tend to the baby and she has no sup­port. These sit­u­a­tions can, at times, lead to some un­healthy, and even dan­ger­ous, re­ac­tions on the part of the mother. How should the sit­u­a­tions be dealt with?

Ba­bies can’t talk, so cry­ing is the only way a baby can com­mu­ni­cate with his par­ent(s) when he/she is un­com­fort­able. It is up to the par­ent to find out what the source of the dis­com­fort is. It may be sim­ple or se­ri­ous. Of course, some ba­bies cry more than oth­ers, so per­son­al­ity is def­i­nitely a fac­tor.

The first thing to do is to look for the sim­pler rea­sons. These in­clude a soiled di­a­per, hunger, need to be cud­dled, tired­ness, need­ing to be burp, ex­ces­sive hot or cold, need for more or less stim­u­la­tion, un­com­fort­able cloth­ing or teething. The next thing to do to check the im­me­di­ate en­vi­ron­ment of the baby quickly as the source of the dis­com­fort may be there (such as body part stuck in a crevice), then pick up the baby and cud­dle him/her, check the di­a­per and at­tempt to feed him/her. At the same time check the gen­eral sur­round­ing for ex­cess heat, cold, light­ing and noise.

Sing sooth­ingly to the baby while walk­ing (even out­side if nec­es­sary) and rock­ing him/her. If the baby has been fed, he may need to be burped. Ba­bies be­tween four to seven months may cry due to teething. If none of these work, then re­move all his/her clothes to check for a cause.

PAY CLOSE AT­TEN­TION

Se­ri­ous prob­lems may be present as men­tioned be­fore. Pay close at­ten­tion to the baby’s tem­per­a­ture, as a fever may clue you into the rea­son the baby is cry­ing. Other im­por­tant things to watch for are vom­it­ing, di­ar­rhoea, con­sti­pa­tion, bleed­ing from any site and drowsi­ness. The baby may be sick or may just be hav­ing colic. If colic reme­dies don’t work, med­i­cal at­ten­tion may be re­quired.

A par­ent should never drop or shake the baby in frus­tra­tion as these can cause se­ri­ous and per­ma­nent harm to the baby. Shaken baby syn­drome can cause death, blind­ness, brain dam­age, seizures and men­tal re­tar­da­tion. Get help with the baby be­fore get­ting frus­trated and/or if noth­ing is help­ing to stop the cry­ing.

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