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Baby meltdowns: How to deal with a crying infant?

A crying baby that you can’t please is an issue that almost all parents have to deal with. You now have to start dealing with regular baby meltdowns after months of peace. Some babies are more easily agitated, while others are more quiet, but all babies can have meltdowns once in a while. Besides physiological needs, infants also have psychological and emotional needs. Parents may not be aware of such needs all the time.

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Causes for baby meltdowns

When your baby is crying more excessively than normal, you may wonder if you’re doing something wrong. Most babies cry because they are hungry, too hot or too cold, in pain (due to colic usually), or simply tired. If all their basic needs are met, then there could be other reasons for their temper tantrums.

  • Need for attention: Usually a crying baby just wants attention. Most, if not all, don’t want to be left alone. This is a normal need and parents should satisfy it. Studies show that the idea of leaving your baby to “cry it out” is not very good. Letting a baby cry themselves out can lead to future emotional and psychological issues. Although the crying and tantrums may stop, the child may get the idea that his needs can’t and won’t be satisfied.
  • Developing their personality: After the age of six months, babies will start to outwardly express their personality traits. Even from an early age, babies start showing their unique personalities. Some may be more extroverted, while some are more quiet and introverted. Extrovertedness could also mean more baby meltdowns and tantrums. It is important to educate by being supportive and understanding the baby’s uniqueness.
  • Parents’ or caregivers’ nervousness: Having a positive emotional environment is very important for a baby. Parents that fight or are too angry around the child can have a very negative impact. More than one medical study has confirmed that a baby’s sleep pattern can be disrupted by fighting parents. Even if the child is asleep, his brain is still aware of what is going on in the room. So fighting around a child is one of the biggest don’ts in parenting.

 

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Dealing with baby meltdowns

  • Make sure that all physiological needs are met. Sometimes it is very hard to tell if something in the environment is making the baby cry. It could be a very small thing, like an unpleasant sound, smell or even clothing.
  • Talk to the baby. Sometimes it is hard to understand what is going on around him or her. External stimuli can confuse the baby. This leads to crying as a signal that the baby needs comforting. Hearing the mother’s or father’s voice can put a stop to the baby meltdown. Holding the baby and swaddling is of course very soothing.
  • Learn to understand what the baby wants at different times. Most parents try to make the baby adjust to a certain schedule. This may not always work, as babies have their own functioning rhythm.

 

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A crying baby could also indicate a health problem. If the baby persists in exhibiting meltdowns and prolonged crying episodes, it could be time to see the paediatrician.

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