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Sharlene Poole: Why does a baby cry? - 28 September

I'm sure every parent will agree one of the hardest parts of being a parent is the not knowing why their baby is crying.

In the past - when we all lived in, with, and around extended family - we learned from an early age that babies do cry sometimes and that it is a very normal part of their development and communication.

A small amount is normal, just now and then small periods of time when they are expressing their feelings of either being tired, hungry or in discomfort - but not endless days and nights.

Crying is a baby's best form of communication and is therefore very hard for some parents to understand and tolerate due to fear that their baby is either in pain or that they are harming them in some way due to their tears and due to the fact that most parents of today are not around small babies at all until they have their own and of course then are unaware of what the baby is trying to tell them.

The most common reason's a baby will cry for are:

- Tiredness
- Hunger
- Wind or digestion pain
- Illness
- Teething
- Over stimulated
- Feeling of uncertainty due to parents lack of confidence and support
- Lack of consistency to a day

What to do

- Talk firstly with your doctor or health professional to ensure your baby is well
- Ensure you are winding your newborn baby regularly as this in most cases if the start of all problems, habits form from lack of winding due to the snowball effects wind can have on the day (i.e. wind gives a false sense of fullness and will not drink as well as they could, then a baby will not sleep enough and then is too tired to feed and so on&).
- Learn an effective settling technique that helps to teach your baby to calm and sleep well
- Learn how long your baby should be awake for at one time
- Remember to be the Parent: babies rely on us to give them comfort and security and if we fear their behaviour they feel more insecure and therefore often cry more.  This is why fathers or extended family members can often calm a baby rather than the mother, they do not 'fear' the process

Where to go for further info

Sharlene Poole
Little Miracles Postnatal Care Ltd

For Sharlene's winding and settling techniques

Talk with the following
- Midwife or local Plunket Nurse
- Doctor or Health Practitioner