Babies are God’s little miracles. They are adorable with their tiny little fingers and toes. All of the funny faces they make just warm your heart. That is, until it’s 3 AM and little baby (insert name here) has been screaming for the past 3 hours non-stop. It feels like your ear drums are going to bleed from the sound of their shrill cries. You’re covered in feces, spit up, and baby drool trying not to throw this screaming kid across the room. You haven’t slept in God knows when and dear ole daddy is cuddly in bed sound asleep through all the commotion, which makes you want to rip his head off of his shoulders. Ever had a night like that? Yep, every parent in the universe of parenthood has.
So how do you get your baby to stay the sweet little miracle that laughs and coos all of the time? Well, you won’t. Crying is just what babies do. It’s a fact of life. There are some ways to soothe them though. When your baby is having a fussy spell, there are ways that you can help them get comfortable again. Then they may can go back to sleep.
When a baby is teething, their gums hurt and itch. All they want to do is chew on everything. It feels good on their sore gums. Some babies may run a small fever when teething. Some cry because they are uncomfortable from the tooth coming in. If your baby is running a slight fever when teething, you can give them a small dose of infant Tylenol. If they are over 6 months old, you can also give them Ibuprofen in place of Tylenol. Always check with your doctor before giving a baby any kind of medication and ask the doctor how much to give them.
Cold really seems to help some babies feel better. You can try getting a rag wet, putting it in the refrigerator in a storage bag, and then giving it to your baby when its good and cold. They will love chewing on it. The roughness of the rag will make their gums feel better. You can also put their teether toys or a pacifier in the refrigerator and see if that helps also. If they don’t really like cold teethers, sometimes just a teether at room temperature can help too.
I don’t recommend giving them any kind of Orajel or teething tablets. A lot of the homeopathic remedies they used to sell at the drug stores are getting pulled from the shelves and being tested due to adverse reactions. A lot of parents are accidentally overdosing their babies on Orajel because they aren’t sure how much is too much. I just wouldn’t risk it. Never use benzocaine in babies under 2, if you do use some kind of topical medication. In rare occurances, benzocaine can cause methemoglobinemia. That is where the oxygen in the blood drops to a dangerously low level.
Colic is when a baby fusses or cries for more than 3 hours a day, 3 days a week, for more than 3 weeks. No one knows what causes colic, but there are ways to soothe a colicky baby. Soothing could make the crying spells not last as long. You can try swaddling baby, side-to-side rocking, shh-ing your baby, putting them in their swing, sucking on a pacifier, walking in a stroller, white noise, or comforting probiotics. If you are breastfeeding, sometimes nursing or just being skin to skin can help a fussy baby.
Gas/ Tummy Hurting
Infants tummies are so little it doesn’t take much to get it out of whack. If your baby eats too fast, or takes in too much air it can cause a gas build up. When your baby is screaming with gas pain there are a few tricks you can try. One is laying your baby across your lap, on their belly and gently patting their butt. The pressure on their belly will help relieve some of the pain. Once they are relaxed, they may let some of that gas out. If your husband has pretty big forearms, let your husband put your baby on his forearm and gently move his forearm up and down with baby on it. The pressure from his forearm muscles and the bouncing motion may bounce some toots out. Another thing you can try is baby massage. Rub your baby with the palm of your hand in a gentle downward motion from chest to belly. Once you get to the belly, rub in a circular motion. After you rub their belly in a circular motion a few times, bend babies knees upwards towards their chest and gently push. It will cause your baby to strain and may get some of the gas out. If nothing else works, they make gas relief drops that may work. You could also try probiotics for gas.