If your baby's unexplained crying has left you tearing your hair out the experts might be able to help. Read our expert advice below - we've spoken to three real mums and asked about their concerns - and watch our short video for top tips on coping with your baby's colic crying...
Katie, a Cow & Gate Midwife says:
When a baby’s crying, that’s how they communicate. That’s how they tell you what they want so a good is to try feeding baby and check that baby’s nappy is dry and clean. Sometimes it’s just that baby is tired and needs a cuddle and baby may just have a bit of trapped wind and need winding.
Mum 1 asks:
There are different cries, but you can’t distinguish between them. I can now, but I couldn’t distinguish between them when he was younger and so you do just have to go through that mental checklist.
The first one is does he have a dirty nappy and the second one is he hungry. And it’s normally one of them – I would say 99 out of a 100 times he is hungry or wants his nappy changed. I think sometimes they do cry for just no reason, for a little bit of attention. Sometimes they just want a cuddle, it’s a cuddle cry.
Sometimes, some babies suffer from colic which can often mean crying for quite a long period, usually around the same time every day. If you do find your baby has this, again it’s not something you’re doing wrong. It’s one of these common things that a lot of babies get.
Mum 2 asks:
To begin with, when he was first born in the first month or two every night he would scream and just be in distress. And feeding and comforting, winding, rocking, anything like that wouldn’t really help. You basically had to just keep going and ride it through really.
Dr Philippa Kaye, GP and author says:
There are a few things that you can try and help a baby that has colic. The first is white noise, so tune your radio to the static and put your kettle on and let baby listen to the bubbling or put the washing machine on or get the tumble dryer going and we don’t know why it works.
You can try some simple baby massage. Put the baby on the floor or on the dresser or the changing mat and cycle their legs in the air like they’re riding a bicycle. Pop your hand just around their belly button, the heel of your hand, and gently put circles in a clockwise motion and that might help your baby get rid of some gas if that’s what’s causing the problem is.
There are some medicines that you can try over the counter that say that they help trap gas in the tummy and help baby burp or bring up wind.
Mum 3 asks:
Somebody said to me ‘oh get some infacal or some gripe water’ and see if it’s colic. But it didn’t work because I would just give to her occasionally. But then I spoke to the health visitor who said it’s a build-up effect and you’ve got to give it with every single feed for about a week before it works. So I did, and after about a week it just stopped.
Dr Philippa says:
It is distressing and really wearing when your baby is crying for hours on end. And if it is getting too much for you, put the baby down in a safe place – the Moses basket, the cot, the floor. Leave the room for five minutes, even if your baby is crying, and just take a break.
Baby will be fine, they can’t go anywhere, and we need to look after you. And when you’ve calmed down, back you go.