Common statements I hear from parents
“My baby wakes up a lot through the night”
“My baby only falls asleep in an upright position, like a car seat.”
“My baby seems tired but the minute I lie him down, he cries.”
It obvious that babies cry when they are hungry and overtired but they also cry because they are uncomfortable or in pain. The hard bit is working out what the reason is.
Look for signs of discomfort.
Ask yourself these questions…
- What does your baby look and sound like when he cries?
- Does he only fall asleep in his car seat?
- How many dirty nappies has he had today?
- Is your baby sweaty, clammy or cold?
If your baby’s body goes rigid, or if he pulls his legs up, or if he flails his arms when trying to get to sleep he is likely to be in pain. It is important to remember that babies cry because they need something.
If a baby can only sleep sitting up it is a sign that he is suffering from reflux. The problem is if they get used to sleeping like this, they then can’t sleep any other way.
Young babies have limited mobility so they can get constipated, which can disturb their sleep. If your baby has a distended tummy or a deeper yellow and more pungent urine it could indicate he is dehydrated.
It can help to bicycle his legs, which might make him get rid of wind or fill his nappy.
The room may be too hot or too cold so it is a good idea to put your hand over your babies nose and forehead. If it is cold, he is cold. Adjust his clothing to suit the temperature and the seasons.