Sound Therapy For Crying Babies

Crying is the most effective way a baby has of communicating its needs!

Introduction

Why do babies cry? Most babies cry quite a lot and for a variety of reasons. Crying is normal. Crying is the only way babies can let you know that something is upsetting them and that they need you. When babies cry they might be hungry, thirsty, too hot, too cold, off color, gas pains (colic), over-tired or uncomfortable. They may have been startled and just need to be held close and cuddled for a while. There are some babies who cry a lot from the time they are born. They pull up their legs, clench their fists, go red in the face and become very distressed. The problem is usually worse in the afternoons and evenings. Other babies may develop severe bouts or attacks of crying when they are a few weeks old. After six to eight weeks these bouts of crying usually become less intense and most babies become more settled at about four to five months old. However, some babies continue to cry for longer than that. Some babies find it hard to settle into a routine, while others can not get themselves off to sleep very easily. Some babies need to be left in a quiet, dark room, while others want to be held, massaged and stroked. Some like silence while others prefer some quiet music. A regular routine of bath, feed and song seems to be most successful.

Tears Before Bedtime...and After Too!
The first few months with your new baby are a learning curve - even if the baby is not your first. It takes time to tune in to the newest member of your family, and learning your baby's cries will be part of this process.

Quick Facts:

  • Your baby will cry. It is his/her main language for communicating the baby needs at first.
  • It is never spoiling to attend to your baby's needs.
  • All parents need a break from excessive crying, or it can become unbearable.
Some babies find it hard to settle into a routine, while others cannot get to sleep very easily. It takes the average baby about 12 weeks for brainwave patterns to develop a regular routine.
Reasons for Crying in Newborn and Young Babies
Crying is the only means of communication for young babies. A normal healthy baby cries between one and three hours a day. Parents will start to notice and pick out different types of crying in their baby by the time the baby is ten to 14 days old. Parents will discover there are usually distinct sounds for reasons for crying. For instance, a hungry cry is short and low-pitched, an angry cry sounds angry, a cry of pain comes on suddenly with a long high-pitched shriek, followed by a long pause and then a flat wail; then a half awake whimper may indicate your baby is dreaming and will return to dreamland. Other than physical needs such as hunger, tiredness, a wet nappy, being too hot or too cold or even discomfort from tight clothing there are two real possibilities for younger babies to cry; these are colic and a nappy rash.
What Is Colic?
What Is Nappy Rash?
Nappy rash is a skin irritation that occurs on the skin of a baby in the nappy area. Various things can cause the irritation including: ammonia, which is found in urine and feces, alcohol, which is sometimes used in baby wipes, a change in diet i.e. from breast milk to formula, strong detergents/soap additives, which have been used to clean terry nappies. However, not all nappy conditions are nappy rash. Other conditions that can cause similar symptoms include heat rash, dermatitis (eczema) or thrush. Symptoms of nappy rash vary from mild sore red spots to cracked or broken skin and even blisters. You may also be able to smell ammonia strongly on the nappy. Treatment of nappy rash is usually not too difficult, and the problem should clear up after a few days: change the nappy as soon as it is wet/dirty; let your baby play without a nappy as much as possible; so their bottom is exposed to the air; if you're using a barrier cream, stop using it as it could be causing the rash or preventing the rash from healing; avoid using plastic pants; keep your baby's bottom dry, but don't use talcum powder. If the rash lasts longer than three days, gets worse or shows signs of being infected, (inflammation, discharge or your baby develops a fever) ask your health visitor or doctor for advice.

Coping with a Crying Baby

A new baby that is frequently crying can be very stressful for the parents and caregivers. It is helpful to try not to become tense, as your baby will sense this and it may make things worse. If possible find someone who can take turns with you soothing the baby. Make sure that you rest when you get the chance. Put on some soothing music that you enjoy. Try to keep things in perspective and not to worry about things that are not getting done such as the laundry or the washing up. Remember that most colic disappears before your baby is three months old and nappy rash is usually easily treated, so relief is in sight. If you are finding it difficult to cope, talk to your doctor or health nurse about getting local support and advice.
Older Babies
From the age of about three months, babies become more aware of their surroundings and much more communicative. By now you are likely to be able to recognize your baby's distinctive cries, for instance when he/she is hungry, tired, or needs changing. However, now your baby will cry from boredom, anxiety, frustration and teething. While identifying the cause of your baby's crying will again require a process of trial and error, the following may be of help:

Boredom

Make sure that your baby has a selection of interesting toys within reach. Spend time with your baby just talking or playing or reading from a storybook. Singing and music can also be fun.

Anxiety

Your baby may cry if he/she fears separation from you or in the presence of strangers or if he/she is in a strange place. Always be supportive and never make fun of your child's fears. Reassure your baby with soothing words in a gentle tone of voice and cuddle him. When you are separated from your baby reassure him or her that you will come back soon. Whenever possible, try to make frequent appearances to reassure your baby that you are nearby. If you have to be away from him or her for longer periods (for example with a child caregiver when you return to work) then take time to make sure that your baby is used to the new environment and the new caregiver. If possible, try to prepare your baby for your being apart by starting with short periods at a time and gradually making them longer. Make sure that you and the caregiver are patient with your baby's anxiety and don't show any frustration or impatience. If he/she has a comfort object, such as a toy or blanket, make sure that he/she has it when you leave. When you return give your baby extra cuddles and plenty of soothing talk. Make sure that you and the caregiver are patient with your baby's anxiety and don't show any frustration or impatience. When you return give your baby extra cuddles and plenty of soothing talk.

Frustration

Your baby will cry when they want to do things that they are not yet able to or when they do not get their own way. Make your home as childproof as possible to allow your baby to explore in safety without you having to fuss around with moving things out of the way. Attempt to have a favorite or new toy or game to hand to distract your baby when he/she becomes frustrated. Offer help when he/she needs it but do not completely take over, this allows your baby to feel a sense of achievement. If your baby simply wants his or her own way it is important to decide for yourself whether the issue is an important one. A good rule of thumb is only to assert your own will over those things that are really important and not simply because you prefer things a certain way. When you do decide to assert your will then don't change your mind; this will confuse your baby and make him or her less likely to do as you wish next time. Provided the baby is safe then tantrums are best ignored when possible. Rather than shouting or punishing your baby explain in a reasoned way why he/she cannot do whatever it is they want to do. Although he/she will not understand what you say at first, your baby will understand your tone of voice and will learn what you mean.

Teething

When the teeth are coming through the gums become swollen and red. Your baby may also tug on their ear or even develop cold symptoms whilst teething. Your baby may dribble a lot, be irritable, clingy and have trouble sleeping. Medical treatment is not usually necessary. Try giving him or her something to chew on such as a cold carrot or a chilled (not frozen) teething toy. You can also try rubbing your baby's gums with your finger or applying a small amount teething gel.

Illness or Infection

Crying accompanying symptoms such as: fever, loss of appetite, vomiting, skin rash, light-phobia, is more likely to be the result of an infection. If your baby has these symptoms or if you think your baby is not well, contact the doctor or health nurse as symptoms can progress quickly with small babies.
Excessive Crying
Comforting Your Baby
Crying in Older Babies – 3 to 12 months
Night Crying
By the time your baby is three months old he may be waking only once in the night. By twelve months about one in every three babies still wakes up at night-time. Night-time crying can be the hardest for parents to bear as you may be tired yourself.
Coping With Your Own Feelings
Conclusion