Baby, Health and precaution

Sleepless nights & strained nerves – cry baby, the causes and solutions

Sleepless nights & strained nerves - writing baby, the causes and solutions

Imagine that jet planes fly by day and night – with 120 decibels. What is unimaginable for many is everyday life for one in five parents in Germany. Not with jet planes, but with babies crying – because they are parents of a crying baby.

What is a cry baby?

Of course, we all know that babies cry. How else are they supposed to make themselves felt?

However, if a child cries for three hours at a time, three days a week, over a period of three weeks, it is said to be a cry baby. It’s hard to imagine that there are children who cry up to eight hours a day…

Of course, as a parent, you try everything to calm the baby: breastfeeding, carrying it around and cuddling. But what if none of that helps? Then your nerves are definitely on edge. They despair and become more tense because they feel helpless.

In addition, the question “What are we doing wrong?” quickly arises , closely followed by “What can we do about it?” . Most of them had imagined the first time together as a family to be a little more relaxed.

Crying babies triggers adrenaline rushes in us. In a rhesus monkey study, mothers were 400 times more aggressive toward a crying baby than toward a quiet one.

Causes of crying babies – why do babies cry?

In the first three months, most children are very restless and sometimes cry for one to two hours a day. It used to be blamed on the so-called three- month colic (infant colic) in which midwives and doctors blamed indigestion for the screaming.

But very few babies have real digestive disorders: only 5-10% cannot tolerate protein from cow’s milk and an inflamed esophagus is also a rare phenomenon.

However, this does not necessarily have to be the cause, but can also be a simple consequence. Because if you scream a lot, you also swallow a lot of air.

The overwhelm with the new life – sensory overload as a cause of crying babies

But if the cause is the problem, why are the little ones crying so much?

Scientists suspect that it is life itself. The babies first have to process a lot of stimuli and find their own rhythm between sleep and being awake. Experts also refer to this process as self-regulation.

Some babies are very good at this self-regulation; they pay attention while awake and when it gets too much they switch off. They also master appeasement mechanisms, such as sucking their thumbs.

The so-called writing babies are not quite as good at all of this, are constantly overstimulated and sleep restlessly . A German study also shows that infants tend to cry more if their mother was emotionally stressed during pregnancy, for example, suffered from depression or fears about the pregnancy.


Writing baby – what should and can I do as an affected parent?

Regular daily routine & lots of sleep

As already mentioned, sensory overload is the reason for excessive crying. It is best to try not to expose your baby to too many stimuli. A calm daily routine with sufficient and regular sleeping phases is a good start.

Many crying babies are less mature in their sleep organization than other babies and sleep too little during the day in the first few months, which is why they cry so often. So the solution is: more sleep!

Develop rituals – carry around, black out, swaddle

Since your little one can’t do it well on its own, you have to help a little: going for a walk, carrying it around, darkening it or swaddling (wrapping it tightly in a blanket) can be very good help. A massage before falling asleep, a bath or a calming tea  can also be integrated into the bedtime ritual.

Get it checked out by the doctor that it’s nothing serious

Before you give your baby medication for flatulence or make a change in diet, first check whether there are really problems with the gastrointestinal tract .

Diarrhea combined with anaemia, for example, would be an indication that your baby is allergic to something.

Heartburn associated with the reflux reflex would also catch your eye as a parent. Your baby would vomit particularly often when lying down.

KISS syndrome , which can cause pain when moving, must also be ruled out.

The rule of three

If your baby’s crying follows the rule of three, it counts as one of the excessive crying babies. One then speaks of the rule of three,

  • if your baby is at least 3 hours a day,
  • more than 3 days a week and
  • screams for more than 3 weeks .

Get help, you don’t have to go through this alone

If you feel overwhelmed, get help! Your nerves also have an end and if the tension and stress is too great, you can no longer react with the necessary composure. Seek help from your partner and also turn to friends and relatives.

You have to clear your head sometimes. Take a break and take a walk to get some fresh air. Me-time and enough time to relax are really important to you.

If your baby’s screaming makes you aggressive, it’s best to leave the room and only come back when you’ve calmed down a bit. Before you realize that it is getting too hard for you, seek professional help in so-called cry ambulances.

scream ambulances

Another contact point are cry outpatient clinics. These are usually found attached to clinics, counseling centers and practices. 


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