Please join me in welcoming our first guest blogger, Claire Gillespie, of StorkUp.com!
Expecting a baby? Just welcomed your new arrival into your world? No doubt you’ve been swotting up on what to expect from your new life. It can be a little daunting to try to sift through the enormous volume of material on all things baby, but hopefully, you’ve managed to work out a few things:
1. Babies eat a lot.
2. Babies poop a lot.
3. Some babies sleep a lot; others seem to take pleasure from remaining wide awake 24/7
4. Babies cry a lot.
Let’s save eating, pooping and sleeping for another time and tackle what is potentially the most stressful aspect of parenting a newborn: crying. Unfortunately, it’s a case of pot luck when it comes to how often your baby cries, and why. These little monkeys can be pretty unpredictable – and no two of them are the same!
In most cases, a crying baby is telling you she needs something. Remember, she can’t communicate this to you in any other way. Your job is simple: work out what she needs via a process of elimination. These are the 5 main things you need to offer your baby to stop her crying:
If you were starving and couldn’t speak, you’d scream, right? This is what your baby will do. If offering him the breast or the bottle keeps him quiet, happy days! Some parents detect a different type of cry when their infant wants to be fed, but don’t worry if you don’t – it’s not a test!
2. A Clean Diaper
Some babies are perfectly happy to lounge around in a soiled diaper, while others will start to complain as soon as they are aware of any wetness. Popping a fresh diaper on your tot is probably the quickest, easiest way to stop her crying.
“You’re going to spoil that baby!” an older relative admonished me as I sat cuddling my newborn son in my arms. I took the controversial step of politely ignoring her, and my defiance was rewarded with a baby who rarely cried, loved cuddles, and made me feel awesome. Do your own thing, mums, and don’t believe snooty so and sos who tell you that too much cuddling is bad for a newborn.
It’s never too early to start playing with your baby. If he’s been fed, changed and cuddled and is still grumbling, he might be bored. At this early stage don’t worry about fancy toys. Make funny facial expressions, play peek-a-boo with a teddy and sing songs. You might just stop the tears and it’s a great way to bond.
If all else fails, perhaps your little one is simply tired. Try holding her close and rocking her gently from side to side. Sing softly to her or speak to her in a reassuring tone of voice until – fingers crossed – she drifts off.
If being held is the only thing that stops your baby’s tears, you might be wondering where you’re going to find the strength to carry him around all day. Use a baby carrier or sling to keep him close when your arms get tired.
By Claire Gillespie, co-founder of StorkUp.com, where parents can discover, share and buy the best products for their children.