Your challenge: The books made it sound so simple. Your friend's cousin's neighbor's baby slept through the night by two weeks. You are ready and willing to do everything "right". And, yet, your baby can't make up their mind about what makes them happy. Whether it's pain, exhaustion or any number of other things that can upset a baby, it's always hard on a parent's heart to see her child in need of comfort they're not sure how to provide.
The solution: Start by remembering this really isn't about you or baby. It's about parenthood, which has a way of throwing challenges at us just to keep us on our toes. (It's exciting like that!) But like the dynamic duo you are, you and baby will figure each other out soon enough-even if it takes some trial and error.
Is it colic? A word that no new parent wants to hear, "colic" is actually something of an umbrella term that presents as baby crying, seemingly inconsolably for a regular period of time. Because experts are still divided on the cause of colic, they are also unsure of how best to suggest relief-other than trying to find out what's most soothing to your own baby and (for better or worse) waiting it out until colic eases up, which almost always happens by the 4-month mark. Until then, many babies are comforted by fresh air, feeding on demand, babywearing and thoroughly burping baby after feedings.
Tummy troubles: Especially among babies born before term, gastroesophageal reflux (GER) is a common cause of discomfort without any pharmacological remedies supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The good news is that these symptoms typically ease up and then disappear in time. Until then, it may help to fall back on the standbys of an elevated swing or rocker when baby is under your waking supervision.
Babywearing that works for you: Good for more than giving you two free hands, babywearing has been shown to significantly reduce overall crying. But with slings, wraps and a whole slew of other babywearing products on the market, it's hard to predict what will be the right fit for baby and you. Fortunately, many local groups like Babywearing International offer programs where you can try out a product before buying.
Not all swings are created alike: What's a parent to do when the brand new swing you were so lovingly gifted at your baby shower isn't actually a hit with baby? Again, it can be hard to know what kind of motion will best calm baby until baby is actually here for the test drive. So try and find a swing with multiple modes so chances are one will be a fit for the way your particular baby likes to be rocked or swayed.
Pro tip: Is your happy baby suddenly fussing and drooling? Teething can cause discomfort long before those chompers cut through, so keep some teething toys and rings handy from the early days.
You've got this.
Motherly + Kids 2 provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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