Whenever your baby cries at night, you can't help but wish you have a magic formula that can take all of your little one's woes away. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. Any parent, whether new or old-timer, should spend time and effort in deciphering what his/her baby's cries mean.
A baby usually cries when he/she is hungry, thirsty, uncomfortable, hot, cold, or in pain. A bottle of milk would immediately comfort a hungry or thirsty baby. One who's feeling cold or hot can be relieved by adding or removing clothes, or by adjusting the room temperature. A change in the environment can calm one who's uncomfortable. Removing the source of pain after you hear the piercing cry of distress is of course the solution to a baby who's in pain.
But what if your baby still cries even after you've done all these? What is there left to do? It's possible that your baby has colic. Colic refers to a baby's crying episodes that occur at the same time each day. If your baby weeps during the same hour for no reason at all, and that nothing you do seem to calm him, it's called colic.
Parents of colicky babies attest that swaddling is an effective way to calm the crying spree. Swaddling, which refers to the method of wrapping a baby snugly using a sheet or blanket, can instantly make a baby feel warm, safe, and comfortable. It's like he/she is back inside his/her mother's womb where everything was nice and peaceful.
This method has been practiced by parents from different parts of the world for centuries. Studies suggest the swaddling can help relieve a baby with colic. However, it's important to note that no scientific evidence can back up this theory.
If you want to try this technique, the first step is to lay out a sheet. Fold over one of the corners. Swaddling blankets are widely available in baby stores, both online and offline. Make sure you get one made of non-toxic and durable but soft material. Next, place your baby on top of the blanket. Your baby's neck should be on the folded portion of the sheet.
After that, wrap the one of the corners of the blanket over your baby's body. Tuck it underneath your little one. The bottom corner should then be lifted up towards his/her feet. Finish by wrapping the last corner of the blanket around your baby. Now, the baby's neck and head will be left exposed.
Ensure that you don't cover your baby's face as this can result in overheating or suffocation. Don't wrap your little one too tightly either as this can inhibit flow of blood. It's also not smart to swaddle your baby in warm weather, as this can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Swaddling doesn't guarantee to put a stop to your baby's crying bouts. But as many parents can attest, it does help. So, it would be a good idea to give this a try if you've exhausted all means possible to calm your crying sweet pea.