We all know that babies cry, but I think it’s safe to say we don’t have a clue just how difficult it can be to cope with until we’re standing there with a screaming newborn in our arms.
Sometimes the crying can be so excessive it runs stressed out parents into the ground, causing rows, sleep deprivation and depression.
Parents dealing with crying little ones are not alone. One in three British mums admit they were unaware of infantile colic – which affects one in five newborns.
To support those struggling parents Infacol – the brand behind Britain’s number one colic remedy – has teamed up with the charity Cry-sis to hold Colic Awareness Month.
Research carried out by Infacol has found that parents around the UK have come up with inventive ways to soothe their crying tot.
While some parents might try to soothe their crying baby with lullabies and background noise, others are turning to modern technology to try and better understand the reasons behind the tears. A new app has been developed which claims to be able to interpret an infant’s cry. Using acoustics of cries from thousands of babies, ‘Chatterbaby” claims that it can help a parent decipher a cry of hunger, pain, tiredness, or if a baby is simply fed-up.
Infacol carried out a survey of 500 mums and dads with babies under the age of two, and found that one in three parents would be willing to try an app like this, if it helped to calm their infant.
The survey also revealed that 95% of parents have sung or hummed to calm their baby. Around 88% have tried taking their infant for a drive and 67% have switched on the TV or radio. Regionally, 93% parents in the East of England are more likely to try humming or singing, those in the South West (94%) prefer to take their baby for a drive and 77% of mums and dads in Wales have tried using background noise, like the TV or radio, to help their little one get to sleep. Interestingly, current affairs, documentaries and dramas are the most popular programmes used to help babies drift off.
To help parents who are struggling with a crying little one, I thought I would share my own top tips for what helped me comfort my daughters:
I know you’re exhausted but babies are often happier when you’re standing up and walking them around. The motion is comforting to them.
Find a nice rocking rhythm that works for them and you. You could also try a sling if you have things you need to get done around the house.
2. Change of scene
Either change the way you are holding your baby or changing the room you are in. Sometimes this can distract them or make them more comfortable.
You could also try popping them in the car for a quick trip, as this often soothes a crying baby to sleep.
3. Bath and massage
Popping your child in the bath can both soothe and shock them into calming for a brief moment. It is also relaxing and sleep-inducing.
Giving them a massage with a bit of moisturiser can really help to make them drowsy too. Try gently rubbing their tummy in circular motions.
4. Soothing sounds
Sometimes music would help my girls, but I often found simple things like “shhh”-ing in their ear while I rocked and patted them on the back was a big help.
It is such a stressful thing when your little one is crying uncontrollably and nothing you are doing is comforting them.
But if you are confident your child is healthy, feeding well and otherwise fine in themselves, then this is just a phase you need to ride out. Know that it WILL pass. Both of my girls were terribly fussy for several months and then suddenly it just stopped with no warning.
Accept that this is going to be a difficult time. Give yourself breaks when you can and remind yourself frequently that it will not always be this noisy in your house.
I hope those tips are useful. As part Colic Awareness Month, Infacol is giving one of my lucky readers a chance to win a White Company sleeping bag for age 0-6 months.
This gorgeous bag is worth £32.
Good luck. UK entrants only.
This is a collaborative post.