Research has shown that until six weeks, the average healthy baby is unsettled and crying for approximately 3 hours a day. In the early weeks, crying is the best (and only) way that your baby can communicate his needs with you. The trouble is how do you translate his cries?
Amazingly, you will quickly learn to pick up the nuances of his various cries and what once seemed like an impossible-to-learn foreign language will become as easy to understand as your mother tongue.
Keep our crying checklist close by to help you.
Colic is described as 'a self-limiting disorder characterised by intermittent, unexplained excessive crying for 3 or more hours per day for at least 4 days per week in a thriving child'. Simple. Or not, depending on if you find yourself with a colicky baby on your hands. Colic generally shows itself during the first month of life and can continue until 4 -6 months of age. Research now suggests that colic is simply a part of the normal development process.
If you suspect colic to be the cause of your baby's misery, ensure that you first have her checked out by your GP to rule out anything more serious, and once the diagnosis is confirmed (colic is usually diagnosed when there is nothing else left to explain the constant crying) look for support to help you get through this difficult period. Sometimes, just having another adult around helps you to cope and keep calm.
Find out more about colic.
Almost every baby will have at least one outbreak of nappy rash during their nappy career, and while it's painful and unsightly, it rarely ever poses a serious health risk.
The best way to beat the nappy rash blues is to make sure that your baby's nappies are changed often (urine on chapped or broken skin can really hurt) and that his bottom gets a good airing at every change. Give him as much nappy-free time as you can while the rash looks angry, and then when you do need to cover his bottom again, use a barrier cream to protect his cream. Avoid anything petroleum-based, such as Vaseline, as these can irritate the skin.
Many also swear by the healing properties of paw-paw cream, and others prefer to use cornstarch powder instead of creams to keep the rash-y area extra dry. Many cloth nappy disciples also choose to use disposable nappies to help clear a rash quickly, as disposables will help keep his bottom drier longer.
Find more about your baby’s week by week development
This article was written by Linda Drummond for Kidspot.com.au and has been adapted for Kidspot.co.nz