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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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