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The Tranquil Way | Crying baby driving you crazy?

Published:Tuesday | September 6, 2016 | 9:00 AM

There a 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 if 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 these situations be dealt with?

Babies can't talk, so crying is the only way a baby can communicate with his/her 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.

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 burped, excessive heat or cold, need for more or less stimulation, uncomfortable clothing, or teething. The first thing to do is to check the baby's 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 general surroundings for excess heat, cold, lighting and noise. Sing soothingly to the baby while walking (even outside if necessary), rocking him/her. If the baby has been fed, he may need to be burped. Babies 4 to 7 months may cry due to teething. If none of these work, then remove all his/her clothes to check for a cause.

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 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 that frustrated and/or if nothing is helping to stop the crying.