Nothing makes new parents more frazzled than a baby who wouldn’t stop crying. It’s horribly frustrating because these tiny, helpless individuals cannot let anybody know what is making them uncomfortable. If you are a new, or not so new, parent and your baby is crying all the time, sit back and take a deep breath. It may not be as serious as you think it is. Pediatricians will tell you that it is normal for newly born babies to be unusually irritable and cry for seemingly no reasons. If your child has been crying vigorously for hours, usually after meals, and has a distended stomach, he might be suffering from a stomach ache. Here are a few things that you can do to soothe your baby’s achy tummy.
- Burp your baby thoroughly after every feeding. Your baby gulps down air every time he drinks milk. This will happen whether you breastfeed or have your baby drink milk from a bottle. The key is to lessen the air in his stomach to prevent it from getting into his intestinal tract. Position your baby where he seems most comfortable. This could be either sitting upright and placed against your chest, or lain on your lap on his belly. Repeatedly pat you baby gently on his back. Make sure that you don’t pound too hard.
- Place a warm compress on your baby’s tummy to help ease the pain. Upset stomach can be soothed by warmth. Get a warm towel and lay it on your lap. Place your baby on the towel. Make sure that you keep your baby’s head supported sufficiently. It is important to note that your baby is slightly more sensitive to temperature than adults. To avoid applying too much heat, check the temperature of the towel by touching it to the skin of your inner arm. If it feels too hot, let it cool for a few minutes before letting it touch your baby’s body. Rub your baby’s back as he is laying stomach down on the warm towel.
- Try letting your baby drink herbal teas or gripe water. Before attempting this step, make sure that you consult your baby’s pediatrician about using herbal preparations. If you get the go-ahead signal from the doctor, go to your local herb store and purchase some chamomile, peppermint, anise, fennel, or dill. Brew a weak tea from the herb and pour this into your baby’s bottle. You can also head to a pharmacy and buy gripe water. This is a mixture of sodium bicarbonate and herbs. Some mothers melt peppermint candy in hot water and this is what they put into their babies’ bottle. If you opt to do this, make sure that you let the mixture cool first before feeding it to your baby.
- Give your baby a belly rub. There are a few massage moves that you can do to help ease the tummy pains of your baby. Use gentle and slow strokes and observe your baby’s reaction to each. Try using downward strokes on the tummy and his back to help ease out excess gas. You can even use aromatherapy oils that have been certified to be safe for babies.
Movement and music can also help ease the tension in your baby. Gently rocking him or going for a short drive are great suggestions. Playing some relaxing songs in the background can also be helpful. If you don’t have a cassette tape or CD to play for your child, try placing a ticking clock or a humming appliance near his crib.