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Is your baby crying more than usual? 4 reasons why

Exhausted from your baby crying excessively? We can help

It is normal for a baby to cry but it is difficult to know when your little one is crying too much or abnormally. Crying for 2-3 hours per day is normal in a baby between the ages of 0-6 weeks, decreasing to 1 hour by 10 weeks.

A crying baby can be stressful and worrying at times. The good news is that robust health is required to be able to sustain crying as it uses a lot of oxygen and effort! Distressing though it can be for parents, clinicians would rather see a baby who severely cries rather than one who cannot.

A baby’s cry may be different depending on the cause of the problem. For example, a higher pitched, loud, or inconsolable cry may be due to something abnormal. We understand that it can be difficult to know why your baby is crying, whether your baby is hungry, needs a nappy change, is too hot, too cold, tired or just wants a cuddle.

If you have checked for the more common causes of crying but haven’t had any luck it may be worth considering one of the following reasons:

1.    Not very well

Although less common, it is important to rule out if your baby is ill. This may include infections and other medical disorders which may need treatment from a doctor. Signs of illness may be a fever, runny nose, sneezing, reduced appetite or increased fussiness. Even though it may not be serious, it is important to get this checked by a professional.

2.    Infant colic

Colic symptoms most commonly start by 2 weeks of age and cause relentless crying late afternoon and/or evening. The cause of colic is unknown but the name implies that it is due to tummy problems. However, some studies suggest that there is no difference in the amount of gas in a baby’s belly with or without colic symptoms.

3.    Intolerances or allergies

If your baby is bottle fed, or breastfed and mum is consuming a lot of dairy. they may have an intolerance to cow’s milk, specifically the casein and whey. This is the most common intolerance in young children and affects both formula fed and breastfed babies. Formula milk commonly contains cow’s milk so changing to an alternative will help. Breastfed babies may also be affected if mum consumes a lot of dairy. The best way to find out is to remove dairy from your diet and see if your baby recovers, which may take up to a week.

4.    Musculoskeletal pains and positional preferences

If your baby is in an uncomfortable position they will try to let you know by crying. When they have more tender spots, it is more difficult for them to get comfortable so they may cry until they aren’t in pain anymore. This is where chiropractors come in as they help alleviate discomfort enabling baby to access and settle in a wider range of comfortable positions.

It is so important that babies are able to sleep on their back as it reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, but is difficult if they have back pain.

Studies suggest that bringing a crying baby to a chiropractor is likely to result in less crying. Also, parents feel significantly happier and have lower anxiety levels after taking their baby to see a chiropractor. So, if you are worried about the cause of your baby’s crying then you can consider visiting a chiropractor for an assessment

References:

  •  Carnes, D., Plunkett, A., Ellwood, J. and Miles, C., 2018. Manual therapy for unsettled, distressed and excessively crying infants: a systematic review and meta-analyses. BMJ Open, 8 (1), e019040.
  • Dobson, D., Lucassen, P., Miller, J., Vlieger, A., Prescott, P. and Lewith, G., 2012. Manipulative therapies for infantile colic. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (12).
  • Hughes, S. and Bolton, J., 2002. Is chiropractic an effective treatment in infantile colic?. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 86 (5), 382-384.
  • Miller, J., 2019. Evidence-Based Chiropractic Care for Infants: Rationale, Therapies, and Outcomes. Texas: Praeclarus Press.
  • Miller, J., Newell, N. and Bolton, J., 2012. Efficacy of manual therapy in infant colic: a pragmatic single-blind randomised controlled trial. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 97 (Suppl 1), A114.1-A114.
  • NICE, 2021. Cow’s milk allergy in children | Health topics A to Z | CKS | NICE [online]. Cks.nice.org.uk. Available from: https://cks.nice.org.uk/topics/cows-milk-allergy-in-children/ [Accessed 3 Oct 2021].
  • Schmid, P., Hetlevik, M. and Miller, J., 2016. Infant presentations and outcomes at a chiropractic clinic in the UK: Parent report of treatment outcomes using United Kingdom Infant Questionnaire (UKIQ). Journal Clinical Chiropractic Paediatrics, 15 (2), 1237-1242.

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