Six years and three children later, when I arrived home with baby number three, I already had enough experience behind me to stop running up phone bills. My three children, each with their own different needs, have taught me how to distinguish the normal fussiness of a fussy baby from serious problems that require special solutions.
The first thing you need to realize: a baby never manipulates
Here is some information that will help you in difficult moments: only the primary reflexes are activated in your baby’s tiny brain and it is only now that it is adapting to the new, unknown world, bombarded by all kinds of powerful stimuli. He only knows you! Out of the multitude of sounds, he only knows your voice. Among the smells that assail him, his favorite is how you smell. Of the rhythms in which he is forced to move, the swaying of your walk is the only one familiar to him. He needs you, and if he cries it’s not because he wants to manipulate you, because he’s spoiled or wants attention. Newborns do not have the brain capacity to create such scenarios. When the baby is fussy and crying, it certainly has an unfulfilled and urgent need. If you ignore him, assuming that he will calm down on his own in the crib, the result will not be an independent and strong child, as the relatives who have passed through life or the blasé medical professionals have told you. You will raise a resigned baby, who has learned that he cannot trust anyone. Understanding that your little one does not cry for no reason, that it is only in your power to comfort him, you will find the necessary resources and patience to cope brilliantly.
Things to control when you have a fussy baby:
On the first day, a baby’s stomach is the size of a cherry. After a few days, like a nut. When your stomach is the size of a walnut, it only holds a measure of milk! So, if your breastfed baby cries from hunger after half an hour, it’s normal, because breast milk is digested much faster than formula. It is also normal for some babies, especially if they have physiological jaundice, to sleep for several hours without interruption. Sometimes the baby is thirsty: how to deny him hydration? Experience has shown me that, in the first months of a breastfed baby’s life, any attempt to establish a schedule is superfluous.
The first months of my boys seemed overwhelming: I felt reduced to the role of an immediate source of warm milk. Even if a few hours passed between one nursing and the next, they seemed terribly short to me. However, I had read that this is normal, otherwise I would have been very frustrated.
If my first child had no problem with dirty diapers, the girl could not stand a full diaper. The acidity of the stools in the case of breastfed babies differs from that of formula-fed babies, being higher in the latter case, as well as the level of skin sensitivity, from one baby to another.
Do you also have a baby that keeps quiet, even sleeps when it is carried vertically, on the adult’s shoulder, but how does it touch the sheet to set off the alarm? That’s exactly how my youngest child was! If the baby is fed and clean and still cries when placed in the crib, he most likely has colic pain.
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