It's a problem faced by all new parents calming your baby when they won't stop crying.
Parenting expert Pinky McKay shares her tips to soothe your baby's sobs.
"Crying is your baby's language. At first, it is pretty much the only way an infant can communicate their needs and express feelings like discomfort, hunger, exhaustion and loneliness. It is also the only way they can release pent up stress," Pinky says.
Therefore it is important to understand your babies "pre-crying signals" such as breathing changes, anxious facial expressions and wriggling so you can respond appropriately and prevent full-blown crying.
One method Pinky suggests is to protect your child's senses during their early weeks by avoiding bright lights, sudden movements, changes in temperature, loud noises and lots of passing between different people for cuddles.
Babies cry when they are hungry, so if your baby has had enough food then the sobbing should be reduced. Pinky suggests that if breastfeeding, watch your baby while they are feeding and allow them to decide when they have had enough. However, if your baby is having problems feeding or crying spells occur during breastfeeding, then the sobbing could be linked to what you have eaten. Eliminate the suspected problem food for about a week to see if it makes a difference and, if it continues, consult your GP. Troublesome foods include dairy products, caffeine, peanuts, chocolate and citrus.
If your baby is comfortable and feels secure then there is less chance they will become upset. Carrying your baby and wrapping them firmly in a soft shawl in winter or a gauze or muslin sheet in summer will provide a sense of security. But if your baby is restless don't cradle them in the feeding position; instead hold your baby up against your shoulder and gently rock them or walk around slowly to prevent any tears.
Pinky says sucking is also comforting for babies and can sooth the tears. "However the different sucking action between breast and dummy can cause nipple confusion in the early weeks, so offer a clean finger to suck on if it is inconvenient to offer a breast or baby isn't hungry," Pinky says.
"A bath will often soothe a tense, crying baby. If your baby is more than three months old, a few drops of lavender or chamomile oil added to the bath water will encourage relaxation. A gentle tummy massage in a clockwise direction with warm hands and warm oil before or after a bath can relax your baby and move wind, encourage digestion and ease constipation."
"It is inevitable that your baby is going to cry so respond quickly to avoid full-blown crying. If you leave your baby to cry, they will continue to become more upset making it harder to calm your baby."
Take care of yourself to help your baby
Pinky suggests that if you are healthy and happy then your baby should be to.
"Eat well, especially at breakfast, to maintain energy levels, take a good multi vitamin, exercise to stimulate endorphins (feel-good hormones) and snuggle up with your baby during the afternoon," Pinky says. "A siesta can have a marked effect on your milk supply as well as your stamina, and may help ease your baby's (and your own) stress levels."
"If you are a smoker, quit or cut down. If you have to smoke, do it away from your baby outside as the risk of colic can increase if parents are smokers."
Soothing the sobs checklist
- Learn your baby's language
- Maintain close contact with your baby
- Relaxation bath
- Feed often
- Respond quickly