What's going on with my baby?

Crying 101

Crying is a normal way for babies to communicate hunger, discomfort, distress, or a general need for your attention. Most newborns reach a "crying peak" around 6 weeks, with a gradual decrease after that. By 3 months they typically only cry for about an hour or so per day.

A crying baby who is difficult to comfort is one of the biggest struggles for someone caring for  a newborn and can often lead to exhaustion, stress and frustration. Hang in there—holding and comforting your baby is teaching him that he is not alone and that you will always be there to care for him. 

A baby that cries more than normal is known to be "colic", which is defined as crying that:

  •     begins and ends for no obvious reason
  •     lasts at least 3 hours a day
  •     happens at least 3 days per week
  •     continues for 3 weeks to 3 months

Here is what you should do:   

  • Talk with your health care provider
  • Try holding your baby more, and swaddling them
  • Use soothing sounds
  • Reduce stimulations - lights, sights, sounds, and textures - for your baby
  • Reach out for support
  • Stay calm
  • Don't give up!

For more ideas, you can check out this article at Babies Today!

Talking 101

It may appear at first that babies are just good listeners—but in fact they are good talkers, too!

Beginning at about 2-3 months, they use their voices to coo, laugh and squeal. Babies are learning the "rules" of conversation when they are very young and will be quiet during a conversation and then wait for a moment of silence, and babble, and then wait for you to respond.

By about 6 months, babies will make sounds like "da-da" or "ba-ba" or "ma-ma"; it isn't until about one year that they will link these sounds with an object and say "ba-ba" when they want a bottle.

Here's what you can do to encourage your baby's language:

  • Talk with your baby
  • Respond to your baby's sounds
  • Watch your baby
  • Sing to your baby
  • Read to your baby
  • Tell stories to your baby

Keep them talking!

Sleeping 101

Around 6 months, most healthy babies who were born full-term are starting to be able to sleep through the night.  When your baby is learning this skill it is important to be patient and consistent with how you handle bedtime and how you react when they wake up in the middle of the night. This will help your baby learn to soothe herself and go back to sleep more easily and quickly.

Tricks of the Trade:

  • Use a bedtime routine (ie. bath, story, milk, teeth-cleaning, and a lullaby)
  • Put your baby to bed while he's sleepy but still awake (he will learn how to fall back asleep on his own when he wakes up in the middle of the night)

Learn more at: Zero to Three.