Does your baby cry a lot? Have you learned yet what the different types of crying mean? Some will be pretty evident, but others might be trickier to understand, especially with your first newborn. It’s quite amazing how a tiny baby can put so much nuance in their crying that you’ll know whether he/she is hungry, needs a nappy change or just wants a cuddle…
Sometimes the crying will be connected to the digestive system. There might be some gas troubling your baby and he/she just needs a burp. Or there could be a case of constipation or wind (again gas, just going the other way). Apart from crying, there is another sign that can indicate that the tummy is causing your bub to be uncomfortable: pulling up the knees towards their tummy.
There is a massage sequence that has been especially developed to help babies with constipation or wind. It is a combination of a couple of different massage strokes and exercises that will help the digestive system along. Please note: if you think there might be something going on but you’re not sure what, always ask your doctor or family health nurse for advice.
If your baby is crying hard and long and just can’t be soothed, it could very well be a case of over-stimulation. The best thing then seems to be to bear with it, stay with your baby in a quiet and not too bright environment (maybe baby’s bedroom). Hold him or her in your arms, but without additional stimulants such as making too much eye contact, talking, singing or bouncing. Try holding your baby against your skin, with its ear close to your chest so it can hear your heartbeat. That is a calming sound, reminding it of when it was in the womb.
It is not recommended to massage a crying baby. The massage we teach always starts with asking the baby’s permission, which obviously you won’t get when he/she is crying. Also, it might be too much stimulation as mentioned above.
However, massaging your baby regularly (when it’s a good time both for bub and for you) will help him or her settle more easily. Massage, especially the skin to skin contact, has loads of positive effects on your baby and will make its body work better in oh so many ways.