Your baby crying and illness night guide

All moms worry that their babies' cries indicate an unidentified underlying problem. This guide will put your mind at rest. By Sister Lilian

All moms know that a baby’s cry signals distress of some kind or the other, and many of these cries soon become familiar and are fairly easily solved with a bit of experience and time. If your baby doesn’t cry too often or too long, most moms survive this quite well. It’s when nothing you do seems to help and the crying persists that you feel desperate. Mothers understandably then begin to think that something serious must be wrong.

ALSO SEE: Decoding baby’s cries

Try these general tips:

  • No matter the time of day, run a deep, warm bath and have a soak with your baby for half an hour. Place a face cloth over your baby’s tummy and offer her a feed.
  • Massage your baby. Try gentle, circular fingertip movements between her eyebrows, on her temples and behind her ears. All-over daily massage will gradually calm your baby too. You can also place your baby either on her back or her tummy on a big birthing ball and gently roll it back and forth.
  • Play soothing or melodious music to which you can dance with your baby to remind her of easier womb days.
  • Place your baby under a tree where she can watch the leaves blowing in the breeze, the clouds grouping and dappled sunlight making pretty patterns. Change your baby’s cot mobile too for a change of scenery.
  • Take your baby into bed with you if her night crying is pitiful. Remember, you need to survive this phase as best you can and finding solutions that work for you is all that’s really important.

Is my baby ill?

Mothers can quickly jump to the conclusion that a crying baby is an ill baby. This is very often not the case and a useful perspective is to know that an ill baby seldom cries loudly and raucously, and is more inclined to whimper, whine or have fretful niggles. Hunger or the need to be closely cuddled up with mom and dad are far more likely to be the cause of loud, persistent crying.

Use Sister Lilian’s Crying and Illness Night Guide to help you decide whether you can go through the process alone or need support.

Download your free Crying and Illness Night Guide here.

*Originally published in August 2009

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