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Crying - what is 'normal'?(5 Posts)
This is my first baby and I have had little to do with babies before this, so have no real benchmarks. DD is 12 weeks now and has suffered from colic. Everyone tells me that around the 3 month mark, crying tends to decrease/stabilise - so how much did/does your baby cry at 3 months? Did it decrease further? I could do with some reassurance as she is still crying a lot (or what I perceive to be a lot anyway, like I said, I've no benchmark) and I find it hard to cope with at times.
I think there is a wide range of normal. My DD didn't cry that much at that age, but then I'm sure loads do (she's a whingy nightmare just now at 16months!)
Do you think there are any other problems? Overtiredness? Reflux? One thing I would say is listening to your own baby cry for 5 minutes seems like an hour or more, or it did to me at least.
Babies have only got one noise that they have to use for multiple purposes. I would say that part of 'normal' crying happens when they're hungry or wet and usually stops when they get something to eat or have their nappy changed. It doesn't usually come with tears... it's just noisy. And then there is the crying for tummy-ache which is also normal if they've trapped a lot of wind after eating. That comes with tears because it's painful. Then you've got 'frightened', 'tired', 'bored', 'hurt' ...
So you have to cycle through all the possibilities in a process of elimination. Start with 'hungry' and 'wet'. If you've changed the nappy and fed them move on to 'tummy-ache' .... and you can spend a LOT of your day winding a new baby, patting/rubbing the back and holding them upright. If it's colic it often starts in the evening and can go on for quite a long time, even with lots of winding!! Tips I was given that there was still wind.... slightly bluish/greyish upper lip.... 'fluttering' semi-closed eyes.... pulling knees up to tummy. Any of those signs and you've to keep patting.
Tiredness is a biggie... If they start getting tired and grumpy and then work themselves up, they can't settle down to sleep and it all escalates. So you have to anticipate when they need a nap and then use every trick in the book to get them to go to sleep before the grumpiness descends. Whether that's a walk in the pram, a ride in the car, a sling, determined rocking, listening to the Shipping Forecast... whatever your baby finds soothing is fine.
If you're worried, talk to your HV and ask for advice. It does get better eventually.
Yes, IME crying is either hungry or tired (rarely wet - they tend not to feel wetness in modern nappies - even washable). How many naps and how long is your 12wo having? Are you formula or breastfeeding? Is it real 'upset' crying with tears (more usually pain, perhaps from wind, or hunger) or back-of-throat whingeing in a low, continuous moan (usually tired).
Our baby actually started crying more around the 3 month mark, not less like everyone says they're supposed to, so you're not alone. She would cry/scream when hungry etc, but also every time the car stopped at traffic lights or a junction, every time we put her down, when we got her dressed, all sorts, and sometimes for what seemed no reason at all. I can vividly remember doing newborn-style skin-to-skin with a wriggling, purple-faced shrieking 3 and a half month old (sometimes that was the only thing that worked). She did suffer from reflux but I'm not convinced that accounted for all of the crying. Like someone else has said it's hard to know how much they're crying as it feels like loads longer to you than anyone else, but I know it was enough to completely stress me out throughout the day and I dreaded car journeys etc. In our case it did get better, drastically so, sometime after 4 months and the crying is much more predictable now at 6 months (I nearly cried with relief myself the first time I realised we'd stopped at traffic lights and dd was quiet and not asleep!). I think dd found the world a confusing and frustrating place, and I think she started getting happier when she got more able, e.g. to keep her head up and reach out and grab things. Hang in there, try your best to keep calm while she's crying, and do whatever works to cheer her up.
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