Don’t panic, this However, if your baby is distressed by wind ensure your baby crying,
won’t develop a
doesn’t gulp when feeding. This could allow wind to build up at
each feed and cause your baby to become unsettled. A bottle
rocking or patting, feed should take about 20-30 minutes, with at least one or two baby
so long as they’re burps at regular intervals during the feed. A breastfeed has no
settled in their own time limit, as long as your baby is correctly positioned and has baby health
bed. Once your baby a rhythmic drawing action. If your baby gulps and gags at the
develops a regular breast, then posture feeding is advisable. This is achieved by mum
sleep pattern, you lying completely flat on her back and positioning baby vertically
can gradually reduce the need to rock or pat. on top of her (belly to belly). Posture feeding will dramatically
reduce any extra wind inhaled by gulping at the breast. Always
Over stimulation empty the first breast fully before offering the second.
Babies can become over stimulated or over handled, and can
develop poor day and night sleep routines if their needs aren’t To minimise pain associated with wind, apply warmth using
recognised. Babies need timeout for rest and sleep at regular a warm nappy, or heat pack, to the baby’s abdomen. Tummy
intervals. The amount of timeout will vary for each baby. tapping, tummy massage or drawing baby’s knees up and using
these to gently massage their belly can also be effective when
Illness your baby is distressed with wind.
If your baby’s crying is persistent, uncharacteristic or other
symptoms are present (like a fever or loss of appetite) you If you have worked through the list of possible causes for
should see your doctor. Gastroesophageal reflux, middle ear crying, and your baby is still unsettled, please consult your Early
infections, viruses, minor ailments, like teething, can also cause Childhood Clinic, GP, Pharmacy Nurse, Cottage,
distress or crying. Trescillian or Karitane helplines.
Pain For further information also refer to our leaflets
Babies cry when hurt or in pain. You can usually tell a pain cry on Colic and Sleep and Settling.
from other cries. It’s usually a loud, abrupt, sudden cry. This
will be followed by a short pause as your baby draws breath
between the distressed loud cries. Wind and colic are the most
common causes of pain in young babies.
As your baby feeds, air is swallowed along with the milk. This
air can then get trapped in the stomach and intestines, causing
swelling and pain. Babies need help to expel wind by regular This booklet is intended to provide basic information for the general public.
burping during feeds. If your baby hasn’t burped and isn’t It is not intended to, nor does it, constitute medical advice. Readers are
warned against relying solely on the information contained herein, or changing
distressed, don’t worry! They will pass the wind eventually in
medical schedules or life activities based on the information it contains
the form of flatulence. without first consulting a doctor.
2. Uncomfortable? needed. Never put your baby to sleep in a bonnet, or
Crying is the only way a baby can communicate. 3. Bored? leave the heater on in their room.
Babies cry to get your attention and to ensure that 4. Tired?
their needs are met. Crying begins from birth and often 5. Over stimulated? Boredom
increases in intensity and frequency around 6-8 weeks of age. 6. Ill? Babies do get bored. They need time on the floor to play,
7. In pain? stretch and exercise. This should start from birth. At first it will
Crying is the Generally babies become more settled in only be a few minutes at a time, but your baby’s tolerance and
their behaviour and temperament around The causes enjoyment will increase with regular exposure. Place mobiles,
only way a
3-4 months of age. This is because it is Hunger colourful objects, mirrors or yourself nearby for your baby to
baby can around this time that their sleep pattern Young babies experience hunger as an urgent need, and become explore and investigate.
communicate. changes and they are capable of self distressed very quickly when they’re hungry. Whether you are
settling. breast or bottle feeding, demand feeding generally works best. Tiredness
This ensures your baby has their individual needs met when they Babies tire easily and need to be put down in their
All babies cry, with some being more demanding, irritable and require it. own bed to develop a regular sleeping pattern.
unsettled than others by nature. They don’t sleep well in a bouncer, or while being
All babies will have regular growth spurts, during which they will carried around, where they will only ‘cat nap’ for
What is normal? demand extra and more frequent feeds. These generally happen short periods. Some babies need to be taught
The following table shows the average crying times of healthy around 3-4 weeks, 6 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks of age. how to develop a good sleep routine. Some need
babies under the age of 12 months. more sleep than others.
It’s considered normal for exclusively breastfed babies to wake for
Age Avg time crying/day regular night feeds until they’re about six months old. - Learn to recognise early signs of tiredness, like when your
2 weeks 1-2 hours baby rubs their eyes or begins to get irritable. Respond
6 weeks 3 hours Discomfort promptly by putting them in bed while they’re still awake -
3 months 1-1.6 hours Is your baby’s nappy wet or soiled? Babies are simply but not overtired.
4-5 months 1.3 hours uncomfortable in wet or soiled nappies. Regular nappy changes are
6-8months 1.4 hours vital for their well-being and happiness. Nappy rash can also cause - Leave them alone to settle by themselves if possible. Only
9-12 months 1.1 hours crying and discomfort. use a dummy if necessary. If unable to settle, allow your baby
time to vocalise before responding.
Why do babies cry? Is your baby too hot or cold? A baby’s ability to regulate
Coping with a crying, unsettled baby can be very distressing their own temperature is poor and underdeveloped. - Always avoid nursing or feeding your baby off to sleep.
for any parent or carer. Learning and understanding the most They depend on you to maintain their temperature and
common reasons babies cry can help you cope during difficult that of their environment. It’s important not to overdress Some babies will need extra help with settling into a deep sleep
and stressful times. It becomes a process of elimination, your baby. Often a baby’s hands and feet will be cold routine. They may need to be wrapped, then rocked or patted
working calmly from top to bottom through a mental list of while their body temperature is OK. Use mittens and socks if for at least 10-15 minutes each time.
possible causes, eliminating as you go. Ask yourself, is my