Guide to Soothing a Fussy Baby
Every baby cries for a multitude of reasons. Perhaps they simply need a diaper change or it’s time for a feeding session. These instances can typically be easily resolved. However, there are other times when it feels almost impossible to find a solution to console your little one. Although frustrating, it isn’t abnormal for parents to deal with phases of trying to soothe a fussy baby. Our advice is: don’t give up. Read on to learn more about what could be upsetting your child and how to help them feel better.
What causes a fussy baby?
A fussy baby could be a sign of a wet diaper, hunger, and in some cases, something more serious. Whether your child is crying to be burped or is seriously ill, you should always schedule an appointment with your pediatrician if your little one can’t be soothed. Causes of fussiness in infants includes:
1. Baby Colic
Infantile colic is typically diagnosed when an infant experiences episodes of crying for 3 or more hours a day for an extended period of time. Sometimes, colic may resolve itself, but some believe colic can also be an indication of a milk allergy which can contribute to chronic stomach pain. Signs of infantile colic include:
- Red, patchy face
- High-pitched screaming
- Stiffening of the body
- Bloated stomach
2. Oral Thrush
Oral thrush occurs when a yeast infection is present inside the mouth, and is a common cause of fussy infants. Thrush occurs when a buildup of candida fungus builds up in and around the mouth which can lead to issues while feeding and interfere with other daily routines. Luckily, thrush can be treated by a doctor. Symptoms of oral thrush include:
- White patches inside the mouth
- Cracking skin around the mouth
- Discomfort while feeding
3. Diaper Rash
If you are having trouble soothing a fussy baby, a diaper rash could be the reason. A diaper rash causes your baby’s skin to become inflamed due to infrequent diaper changes which can create friction between sensitive skin and/or diapers and waste. If you notice red and patchy skin around your child’s bottom, it is likely they are experiencing a diaper rash. Although diaper rashes can be frustrating and extremely discomforting, they can be easily treated with more diaper changes and diaper rash cream.
For infants who experience chronic diaper rash despite frequent diaper changes, an allergy to latex or diaper materials should be considered. Luckily, there are diapers available for children who do experience allergies to the materials found in most diapers.
4. Stomach pain
If your child is experiencing stomach pain or discomfort, they will likely cry more than normal. Stomach pain in infants can be caused by a variety of factors and shouldn’t be ignored. A few common causes to stomach pain in babies are:
- Food sensitivity
- Acid reflux
- Straining from crying
READ MORE: Acid Reflux in Babies
5. Teething Pain
Though you may be overjoyed for your baby’s first tooth to emerge, they may not feel the same way. Teething can be one of the most painful stages in the early stages of every child’s life. Luckily, teething typically does not lead to further health issues. However, there are ways to help soothe your teething child, including cold teething toys, gum massages with a clean finger, and chilled fruit.
READ MORE: Tips for Soothing a Teething Baby
How to Soothe a Crying Baby
If you’ve tried everything possible to soothe your fussy baby, try the following:
1. Swaddle Your Baby
Because swaddles can mimic the sensation of the womb, many babies are comforted by being wrapped tightly in a swaddle. Unsure how to swaddle your baby properly? Your doctor can give you tips and tricks on how to swaddle your child safely and securely.
2. Turn on a Sound Machine
Sound machines are another way many parents comfort their baby. Similar to a swaddle, white noise can give your child a womb-like feeling. A fan humming or “shhh…” sounds can help your child relax. If you do not have accessibility to a sound machine, you can find a variety of sound machine apps available for purchase on smart phones.
3. Hold Them Close
Contact is one way to help your baby feel more safe and secure. Whether it’s through a sling or wrap or simply rocking your baby to sleep, holding your child close can become a great way to comfort them.
4. Run a Warm Bath
If your child enjoys bath time, try running a warm bath when you can’t seem to soothe their crying. Giving them a mini massage while in the bath can help further soothe them and relax them for a while.
5. Contact Your Pediatrician
When all else fails, you may need to contact your doctor concerning your fussy baby. Although many babies can be comforted by the tips above and more, it may take professional help to find a solution for your child. Constant fussiness and crying can be an indication that your child could be experiencing an illness or injury, which should not be ignored.
Soothing Your Baby at Pediatrics East
Our team at Pediatrics East is passionate about caring for each of our patients and their families. We understand how difficult it can be to soothe a fussing baby, but we are here to help. If you are having difficulty soothing your child, contact us today to set up an appointment to speak with a pediatrician who can rule out more serious problems.
If your child’s fussiness is integrated with a fever, vomiting, or other symptoms, we suggest contacting our team immediately.
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