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My baby cries, what can I do?

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After the birth, my baby's little cries overwhelmed me with joy. However, back at home, their cries which range from whimpers to howling worry me. I feel a little lost and helpless as I don't always understand what my baby is trying to tell me.

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

For a baby, crying is a means of communication and expression. By crying your baby tells you when they are hungry, tired, or bored etc. This first form of language is however difficult to decipher. Here are some leads to help your learn to understand your baby's cries.

Difficult babies do not exist!

Babies come into the world crying. This is a vital reaction. In contact with the air, their respiratory system begins to work. In the first few weeks of life a newborn's cries, even if they are hard to cope with, reflect a "life instinct". It is evidence that they are alive and tonic.

Unlike in adults, crying is not necessarily a sign of sadness in babies. Crying enables babies to communicate with the outside world and to let those around them know what they want: a cuddle, some company… They may also be letting you know that they are hungry, have sore gums or a sore tummy. They may even express their anger when they feel misunderstood! In all of these cases, crying soothes babies and releases their tensions.

Always go and see your baby when they cry (without jumping out of your chair at the least whimper!) as it is a sign that they want your attention. You must show your baby that you are there for them. This will not necessarily make them temperamental! On the contrary, because your baby knows that they can count on you it will help them create a reassuring image of the world and help them grow!

Crocodile tears or real pain?

The difficulty lies in telling the difference between unusual cries that may be signs of pain from those of a healthy baby. Your baby does not come with an instruction manual but you will learn to get to know them as the days go by and after just a few weeks, you will be able to recognise your baby's cries and know you when they are hungry, tired or wet.

In the meantime, a little common sense should tell you that your baby's crying cannot mean anything too serious if it stops when you pick them up and starts again when you put them down. Obviously if this becomes a daily habit then it may cause problems. You must explain to your baby that you are going to leave them in their bed even if they cry so that you can go and take a shower! Explain that you will then be fresh and ready to take your baby out for a walk.

Babies may cry in the first few months due to colic. Colic appears to be extremely painful and it is not always easy to calm your baby down, even when they're in your arms.

Some tips to calm baby down and help you relax

When your baby starts crying, your first instinct is to find out what is wrong. The reason is not always obvious. Assess the various possibilities and try different solutions: a cuddle, a nap, the favourite toy… What if nothing works?

Don't panic and don't stay alone at home with baby, go out instead! The pushchair and the car have unbelievable soothing properties on infants

And don't forget dad! Even if he is tired when he gets home from work, leave your baby with him so you can get some fresh air or pay a call to your best friend. You will soon see that even if to begin with dad is a little worried taking this responsibility, he will rapidly come to appreciate this special time alone with baby.

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