It is very common for new babies to be quite unsettled, and there can be a lot of conflicting advice out there as to the cause - reflux, colic, purple crying, leaps - the list goes on!
Especially in the first 3 months of a baby's life, babies can be quite unsettled. Many people say that it is at its worst up until around week 7, and gradually improves, becoming much better by week 12. Some people refer to this time as the "Fourth Trimester". It is actually quite normal for babies to cry for around two hours per day, however if it is more than that, then there are some things you can do to help reduce this.
During a consultation with me, I will assess what has been happening for your family and help to rule out any medical causes for unsettled behaviour, including food allergies or intolerances, breastfeeding issues or milk supply issues, and use the 5-Domain Approach of The Possums Clinic to formulate a plan and a way forward. This strategy helps to make a daily plan to make the days enjoyable, the nights as easy as possible and ensures that both parents and baby are as dialled-down, or calm, as possible.
A consultation while you are pregnant is a great idea to get you off to a good start. I can teach you the common causes of infant cry-fuss behaviour as well as strategies to read your babies cues and manage these difficult periods.
The Concept of Sensory Nourishment
While you may have heard about the risk of “over-stimulation”, the reality is our babies are often crying out because they are bored and need something new to do or look at. Their brains are little sponges desperate to learn about the world in which they live.
If you have an unsettled baby, you might find that a simple change in their environment, such as stepping outside and looking at leaves moving in the trees, will quickly dial your baby down. Getting on with your day by bringing your baby and doing things that you enjoy, such as walks or coffee with a friend, is beneficial to you both, as you get to be out and about and baby gets a rich and ever changing sensory environment.
This blog by Dr Pamela Douglas is an excellent summary of how to use the "two tools" (alternating between feeding and providing a rich sensory environment) to reduce a baby's unsettled behaviour, resulting in a calmer household for everybody.