Why Do Babies Cry in their Sleep?

Every parent is wired to respond to their child’s cry, although each parent may have a different way of soothing their child. Some try skin-to-skin contact; others try to make soothing sounds or gentle rocking movements to calm the baby down. There are also moms who may try breastfeeding in case their baby is crying due to hunger. This works in most cases, but what about the times when babies cry out in their sleep and appear to be distressed? Finding out what causes your baby to cry is the first step in solving the problem.

Is It Normal for Babies to Cry While Sleeping?

Babies crying before bedtime or when they are feeling really sleepy is quite common. It may be unsettling for a lot of parents, but it is really nothing to be concerned about.

The sleep pattern of a baby is different from that of an adult. Babies spend most of their sleep in the REM state, which is the sleeping state in which dreams occur. During this time, twitching or fluttering of the eyelids may be noticed. Their breathing may seem a bit irregular, they may whimper every now and then (even cry out!), and it will seem like they are about to wake up. For a parent to watch this, it can be very confusing.

Experts say that it is very common for children to cry softly and for a small amount of time between the ages of four months to a year old. While some babies do outgrow this behaviour naturally, there are some who will require a change in their routine in order for them to sleep soundly through the night, and to develop healthier sleeping habits.

Why Do Babies Cry in Their Sleep?

Babies are still learning how to express themselves and crying is a way of communication for them. Some causes could be those that make the baby physically uncomfortable, and hence, he won’t restrict his cries to a simple whimper. Here are some of the reasons:

1. Dirty Diapers

This is easy enough to figure out and is what most parents will think to check first. Dirty diapers are not comfortable to wear, and the only way your baby can tell you he needs a change is by crying.

2. Hunger

Tiny tummies cannot hold much at a time, and your baby will get hungry quite often and require many feedings. If you notice your child whimpering, but he is not fully awake, it is most likely that he is hungry.

3. Temperature Problems

Your baby may start to feel hot or cold during the night and will need your help in sorting himself out. If the temperature changes, your baby will become uncomfortable and will cry out for you. Do not bundle up your baby too much if it is not very cold, as this may lead him to become more uncomfortable than cosy.

4. Needs Attention

Your baby may simply cry for some cuddles and the security that he feels when you are with him. Babies need to feel your touch and know that you are around them frequently, as there is so much that is new to them. It will be very comforting to a child to know you are there right beside him.

5. Night Terrors

Babies are still new to this world, and they are experiencing a lot that is very new to them, and just like adults, babies process things in their sleep in the form of dreams. Can infants have nightmares? They most certainly can, but nobody is sure what they have nightmares of.

How to Soothe Babies While They Are Sleeping?

Every parent has different ways of soothing their babies when they cry. If your baby is fussing about a bit, it could mean that he is transitioning from one sleep state to the other. In such a case, it is better to first wait and see if your baby needs any comforting at all. If you do decide that you need to intervene, here are some common tried-and-tested methods to prevent your baby from crying in sleep suddenly.

1. Rock-a-bye Baby

Hold your baby close to your body and move back and forth to comfort your little one. Whether you choose to rock your baby in your arms or choose to use a rocking chair, the movement will certainly help soothe your little one into slumber.

2. Wrap Him Up

The womb is not a very spacious place, and your baby is used to having something wrapped around him all the time. This is why babies feel more comforted when they are swaddled or wrapped up close to you. Try tucking your baby in more comfortably to help him maintain his uninterrupted sleep.

3. Temperature

Your baby may feel cold or hot during the night if the temperature changes, so one of the things you will need to check on is if he is covered correctly, and not wrapped in too many layers. If you live in very cold climates or if it is winter, you will need to ensure that you are wrapping your baby up appropriately.

4. Hush Hush

This may seem surprising, but the womb is not very silent. Your baby is used to hearing all the noises that take place inside your body; so sleeping in silence may actually be uncomfortable for your child. Making hushing sounds should help to soothe your baby.

Making hushing sounds to soothe baby

5. Go With the Flow

If you can, play soft soundtracks of waves on a beach, a waterfall, or rainfall so that your baby can listen to all the whooshing and calming sounds that will help him feel more at home. Alternatively, white noise, like certain sounds that appliances make, can also help your baby relax.

6. Pacify

Pacifiers can work wonders on babies who have a stronger need to suckle. They usually lose interest and dependence on the pacifier by the age of seven months, but experts say that it is unlikely to harm their development even if they do prefer to hold onto it for longer.

7. Stroke of Luck

Skin-to-skin contact is very comforting for your baby as it gives him a feeling of security, knowing you are there with him. Keep stroking your baby’s skin lightly until you feel he is sleeping peacefully.

When to Consult a Paediatrician?

If you have tried every trick in the book and you still see your baby crying in sleep but not awake, you probably need to see a doctor to check if there’s anything wrong. Your baby may just be teething or may have an illness, both of which will need a paediatrician’s advice.

Baby at the doctor

Making sure to have a fixed routine and looking after the health of your child will definitely have a big impact on your baby getting peaceful and uninterrupted sleep. Try to develop a bedtime routine for your child and keep any waking moments during the night time quiet and short, so that your baby quickly associates night with sleep.

Please call 080-26613255 or +91 78999 30207 to schedule an appointment at Sagar Chandramma’s spacious & spa-inspired centre in Basavanagudi to learn more about your baby’s sleep habits.

(Article sourced from: http://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/baby-crying-in-sleep-causes-and-ways-to-soothe/)

Sweet Dreams, Little baby

SLEEPING BASICS

As a new parent, you may be surprised to learn that your newborn, who seems to need you every minute of the day, actually sleeps about 16 hours or more! Newborns typically sleep for periods of 2-4 hours. Don’t expect yours to sleep through the night — the digestive system of babies is so small that they need nourishment every few hours and should be awakened if they haven’t been fed for 4 hours (or more frequently if your doctor is concerned about weight gain). Please speak with you doctor to learn more about if and when you should awaken your child for feedings.

WHEN CAN YOU EXPECT YOUR BABY TO SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT?

Many babies sleep through the night (between 6-8 hours) at 3 months of age, but if yours doesn’t, it is not a cause for concern. Like adults, babies must develop their own sleep patterns and cycles, so if your newborn is gaining weight and appears healthy, don’t despair if he or she hasn’t slept through the night at 3 months.

It is important to place babies on their backs to sleep to reduce the risk of SIDS. In addition, remove all fluffy bedding, quilts, sheepskins, stuffed animals, and pillows from the crib to ensure that your baby doesn’t get tangled in them or suffocate. Also be sure to alternate the position of your baby’s head from night to night (first right, then left, and so on) to prevent the development of a flat spot on one side of the head.

Many newborns have their days and nights “mixed up.” They tend to be more awake and alert at night, and more sleepy during the day. One way to help them is to keep the stimulation at night to a minimum. Keep the lights low, such as by using a nightlight. Reserve talking and playing with your baby for the daytime. When your baby wakes up during the day try to keep him or her awake a little longer by talking and playing.

Even though you may feel anxious about handling a newborn, in a few short weeks you’ll develop a routine and be parenting like a pro! If you have questions or concerns, ask your doctor to recommend resources that can help you and your baby grow together.

Please call 080-26613255 or +91 78999 30207 to schedule an appointment at Sagar Chandramma’s luxurious clinic and gorgeous facilities.

(Article sourced from: http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/newborn_care/guide_parents.html#)

What will my newborn look like at first glance?

You probably have visions of a robust bouncing baby, but in reality many newborns are tiny, wet creatures when they first emerge. Often their heads are slightly pointed as a result of passing through the birth canal. This is only temporary — the head will take on a rounded appearance within a few days. It may also surprise you that a newborn’s head is quite big compared with the rest of the body.

Your baby also may look wrinkled since the legs and arms have been kept bent at the knees and elbows while in the womb. After months of growing in ever-tightening close quarters, this is perfectly normal. The limbs will straighten out as your baby grows.

If you look at your baby’s tiny fingers and toes, you will notice the paper-thin — and sometimes long — nails. Speak with your doctor or the nurses at the hospital to learn how to trim them so that your little one will not hurt him/herself.

Your baby’s skin may have one of several possible appearances, looking somewhat red, pink, or purple at first. Some babies are born with a white coating called vernix caseosa, which protects their skin from the constant exposure to amniotic fluid in the womb. The vernix is washed off with the baby’s first bath. Other babies are born very wrinkled. And some, especially premature babies, have a soft, furry appearance because of lanugo, a fine hair that develops while in the womb. Lanugo usually comes off after a week or two.

Rashes, blotches, or tiny white spots also are common on newborns. These generally clear up over the first few days or weeks after birth. The doctor will examine your baby within the first 12-24 hours of birth and make sure that any rashes or spots are normal.

Remember, your baby’s appearance will change dramatically over the next weeks as he or she grows. The limbs will extend, the skin tone will probably change, and the blotches will disappear.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS REGARDING THE DEVELOPMENT OR APPEARANCE OF YOUR BABY, PLEASE SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOUR DOCTOR BY CALLING +91-78999-30207.

(Article Sourced from: http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/childbirth/first_day.html?tracking=P_RelatedArticle#)

Diapers: Dos and Don’ts

You will probably decide before you bring your baby home whether to use cloth or disposable diapers. Whichever you use, your little one will dirty diapers about 10 times a day, or about 70 times a week.

Before diapering your baby, make sure you have all supplies within reach so you won’t have to leave your infant unattended on the changing table. You will need:

  • a clean diaper
  • fasteners (if cloth prefold diapers are used)
  • diaper ointment if the baby has a rash
  • a container of warm water
  • clean washcloth, diaper wipes, or cotton balls

After each bowel movement or if the diaper is wet, lay your baby on his or her back and remove the dirty diaper. Use the water, cotton balls, and washcloth or the wipes to gently wipe your baby’s genital area clean. When removing a baby boy’s diaper, do so carefully because exposure to the air may make him urinate. When wiping a baby girl, wipe her bottom from front to back to avoid a urinary tract infection. To prevent or heal a rash, apply ointment. Always remember to wash your hands thoroughly after changing a diaper.

Diaper rash is a common concern. Typically the rash is red and bumpy and will go away in a few days with warm baths, some diaper cream, and a little time out of the diaper. Most rashes occur because the baby’s skin is sensitive and becomes irritated by the wet or poopy diaper.

TO PREVENT OR HEAL DIAPER RASH, TRY THESE TIPS:

  • Change your baby’s diaper frequently, and as soon as possible after bowel movements.
  • After cleaning the area with mild soap and water or a wipe, apply a diaper rash or “barrier” cream. Creams with zinc oxide are preferred because they form a barrier against moisture.
  • If you use cloth diapers, wash them in dye- and fragrance-free detergents.
  • Let the baby go undiapered for part of the day. This gives the skin a chance to air out.

If the diaper rash continues for more than 3 days or seems to be getting worse, call your doctor — it may be caused by a fungal infection that requires a prescription.

AT SAGAR CHANDRAMMA HOSPITALS, WE HAVE TRAINED STAFF THAT CAN HELP YOU WITH LEARNING HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR BABY – FROM BREASTFEEDING TO DIAPERING, SIMPLY SPEAK WITH OUR GUEST RELATIONS REPRESENTATIVE AT 78999-30207 TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT.

(Article sourced from: http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/newborn_care/guide_parents.html#)

It’s Play time!

Games to play with your baby to increase bonding & coordination skills (6 months or younger)

Your baby will develop at an amazing rate in her first year. At times, she may seem to acquire new skills overnight. It won’t be long before your wriggling, helpless baby works out how to roll over, sit, crawl, stand and walk.

The games below will help you encourage your baby to make the most of his or her new abilities as they discover them. You should both have a lot of fun along the way.

COPYCAT

Hold your baby close, as he or she can focus best on objects about 20cm to 35cm from his or her face. When your baby is gazing into your eyes, slowly poke your tongue out. Do this every 20 seconds or so. It may take about a minute but you should soon notice that your little one’s sticking his or her tiny tongue back out at you. Your baby will try to imitate other facial expressions too, such as a big smile or wide open mouth.

Your baby loves having the chance to watch your face, and this game will help sharpen your little one’s visual skills too.

CATCH ME

Attach a small soft toy to a brightly coloured ribbon. Dangle it in front of your baby and make it sway. When your little one reaches out and tries to touch or grab it, give him or her lots of praise.

This will help her practice her hand-eye coordination. Choosing a squeaky toy may give your baby an extra reason to grab at it. Always be careful to keep the ribbon out of your baby’s reach when he or she is unsupervised.

(Article sourced from : http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a554804/games-to-play-with-your-baby-under-12-months#ixzz40V9aTj1l)

First time parents: How to soothe your newborn

BONDING AND SOOTHING TECHNIQUES

Bonding, probably one of the most pleasurable aspects of infant care, occurs during the sensitive time in the first hours and days after birth when parents make a deep connection with their infant. Physical closeness can promote an emotional connection.

For infants, the attachment contributes to their emotional growth, which also affects their development in other areas, such as physical growth. Another way to think of bonding is “falling in love” with your baby. Children thrive from having a parent or other adult in their life who loves them unconditionally.

Begin bonding by cradling your baby and gently stroking him or her in different patterns. Both you and your partner can also take the opportunity to be “skin-to-skin,” holding your newborn against your own skin while feeding or cradling.

Babies, especially premature babies and those with medical problems, may respond to infant massage. Certain types of massage may enhance bonding and help with infant growth and development. Many books and videos cover infant massage — ask your doctor for recommendations. Be careful, however — babies are not as strong as adults, so massage your baby gently.

Babies usually love vocal sounds, such as talking, babbling, singing, and cooing. Your baby will probably also love listening to music. Baby rattles and musical mobiles are other good ways to stimulate your infant’s hearing. If your little one is being fussy, try singing, reciting poetry and nursery rhymes, or reading aloud as you sway or rock your baby gently in a chair.

Some babies can be unusually sensitive to touch, light, or sound, and might startle and cry easily, sleep less than expected, or turn their faces away when someone speaks or sings to them. If that’s the case with your baby, keep noise and light levels low to moderate.

Swaddling, which works well for some babies during their first few weeks, is another soothing technique first-time parents should learn. Proper swaddling keeps a baby’s arms close to the body while allowing for some movement of the legs. Not only does swaddling keep a baby warm, but it seems to give most newborns a sense of security and comfort. Swaddling also may help limit the startle reflex, which can wake a baby.

(Article sourced from: http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_center/newborn_care/guide_parents.html#)

Colic in babies: What is it?

Babies who cry or fuss a lot and can’t be settled are often described as having ‘colic’.

COLIC SYMPTOMS

If you have a baby, you might know the symptoms of colic – crying and fussing. At some stage after your baby arrives home – it might be a few days, or sometimes a few weeks – the crying starts.

Your baby is restless and cranky, and doesn’t seem to settle into a predictable routine of sleeping and feeding. Many parents find this unpredictability very hard to cope with.

Your baby might feed hungrily, but soon after a feed seems to be hungry again. Or your baby might not feed well, often fussing at the breast or bottle.

You might find that your baby spends long periods unsettled or grizzling, but might also cry very loudly. During this crying period, your baby might draw her legs up, as if in pain. It’s very difficult to settle or comfort your baby when she’s in this state. She might be inconsolable – nothing you do seems to make any difference.

The crying and fussing might seem to go on for hours, and it’s often worse in the evening.

A few babies with ‘colic’ symptoms might have medical problems, so it’s a good idea to see your doctor.

CRYING AND FUSSING: WHAT TO EXPECT

On average, typical babies cry and fuss for almost three hours a day – and some for a lot longer than this. The crying reaches a peak at about six weeks of age, and then gradually lessens as babies get older.

Most of this crying and fussing seems to happen in the late afternoon and evening, although this can change from day to day.

Younger babies cry because of their temperament, sleeping cycles and feeding patterns. As babies get older, their crying is more about communicating with you or about something in their environment. Because of this, it’s more likely to be spread throughout the day.

Infant crying and fussing is a normal part of development, which typically gets better with time, whatever you do. Crying and fussing have little or nothing to do with how good you are at parenting. The most confident and calm parents also have babies who cry a lot.

CAUSES OF COLIC

Some people think it’s caused by medical conditions in the baby. Others think it’s to do with mums and dads being anxious – which is understandable, if they’ve got a baby who won’t settle!

There’s no clear evidence of a separate condition that is ‘colic’. Some babies do cry more and are harder to settle than others, just as some babies sleep more than others.

We do know that most ‘colicky’ babies have no obvious physical or medical cause for their crying.

People might tell you the crying is because of:

  • feeding techniques – too little or too much milk, or milk given in the wrong way
  • emotional problems in the mother
  • a difficult temperament in the baby
  • too much wind, although this has never been proven to cause crying. It’s more likely that ‘wind’ is the result rather than the cause of crying – crying causes the baby to swallow air.

Some of the medical reasons given for fussing and crying include:

  • gastrointestinal problems – for example,  excess gas etc
  • infections – for example, ear infections or urinary tract infecctions
  • hernias – for example, inguinal or umbilical hernias
  • nerves – for example, an irritable nervous system or neurological immaturity
  • allergy to mother’s diet or to cow’s milk
  • nappy rash and other sources of irritation.

(Article sourced from http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/colic_what_is_it.html )