1. First of all, check your baby isn’t cold, due for a feed or a sleep, or doesn’t need her diaper changed. And look for signs she might be poorly.
2. If it’s none of those, make sure your baby’s not over-stimulated. Pick her up and, holding her close, cuddle or rock her. This replicates the type of movement she felt in the womb, which should comfort her. Alternatively, put her in her stroller, car seat or cot and switch on either the vacuum cleaner or untune your radio it may sound strange, but white noise will remind her of the sounds she heard inside your womb and may help to pacify her.
3. Try giving her a massage, rub a little olive oil in your hands and gently stroke her skin in small, circular movements. She might be soothed if you take her to a quiet, darkened room and talk or sing to her. Or you could try swaddling her in a soft blanket, so she feels comfortable and snug.
4. A pacifier can be a source of comfort to her, but don’t use it as an automatic response to crying, always try to find out the cause of her tears first. And, if all else fails, a change of scenery may help to destress you both - go for a short drive or stretch your legs with a walk in the fresh air to see if that’ll calm her.
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What to do if she’s upset
Here’s a checklist on why baby is upset.
• Diaper She’ll be uncomfortable in a dirty diaper.
• You! Sometimes, she just wants her mum for a cuddle.
• A quiet room Make sure your soothing voice is all she can hear.
• A blanket Wrap her up if the room’s cold or to give extra comfort.
• Milk Is she hungry?
Things to remember
● If your baby keeps turning her head towards you when you hold her, she is probably hungry.
● Check for symptoms of illness, such as a raised temperature, perspiration, shallow breathing, diarrhoea, lack of interest in feeds, vomiting, rashes or an unusual skin colour. A very piercing cry could mean she’s unwell. If you’re worried, consult your GP or paediatrician immediately.
● If your baby thrashes her arms and legs around, she might be in pain. Check her body to see if there are any bumps or scratches that might be hurting her.
● If your baby draws her legs up and goes red in the face when she’s crying, then she might be suffering from colic, and have a build-up of wind in her tummy or bowel.
● It can be distressing when your baby is screaming for what seems like hours on end. Try to stay calm as babies can pick up on your stress. Don’t be afraid to ask your husband, family or friends for help.
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