Read your baby like a book
Improve those anguished nights of ‘Why is she crying?’ with a little basic baby body language, says well known parenting expert Sister Lilian.
The single most helpful tip to make you Super Mom in that crucial first 12 weeks of a baby’s life is to take it as it comes. Mother Nature is the guardian angel that will aid you every step of the way, if you open your senses to her messages.
New baby challenges
Ask a group of new moms what they struggle with, and the same themes come up again and again. Getting feeding sorted out, digestive discomfort (encompassing everything from difficult winding through cramps to full-blown colic), all manner of skin rashes, blocked or runny noses and dealing with crying and restless sleep are the most common by far!
The answer lies in the natural approach, a healthy dollop of relaxation, common sense, nutritional adjustments and that all-time magic ingredient: intuition.
Do you speak baby?
Standing back and observing your baby’s body language and daily patterns will help you get to the root of any problem.
• A red, scrunched up face denotes anger and frustration.
• Tense, drawn-up limbs might be associated with difficult birth and anxiety.
• Feel in the nape of the neck to check for a comfortable body temperature – clammy means too hot and comfortably warm means just right.
• If the abdomen feels like an ironing board, colic is likely.
• Tired cries are usually accompanied by pulling, rubbing or swiping of ears.
• Check the colour of hands and feet to ensure that no ribbons or tight garments are restricting blood flow.
• A strident cry is seldom associated with serious illness although certain types of colic and structural urinary tract problems may be accompanied by loud crying.
• Ill babies often whimper or cry more softly and pitifully and show other signs of illness.
• A peevish, fretful, impatient and irritable cry might indicate a high-needs child who is more difficult to satisfy.
• Listen out for a dry, raspy cry which might indicate a sore throat, or a cry that ends with a bark-like cough, as this might be croup.
• A cry higher pitched than you’re used to can be indicative of an ear infection, so see your doctor if baby seems ill. You can try Sister Lilian EarCare tissue salts for earache and infection, and look on Sister Lilian.co.za for more remedies that could be useful, depending what ails your baby.
Can you tell the difference between a baby’s tired, hungry or sick cries?