Need baby advice?
If your baby is crying and feels unwell, don’t hesitate to seek your doctor’s advice.
For everyday problems that are no cause for alarm, we have some simple baby tips to help you out.
The unsettled infant
What are the outward signs?
From two weeks to six months, some babies hardly cry and others cry for many hours a day. Once your baby starts crying, they may not be able to control it and turn it off. Crying is often worse in the evening. A ‘colicky’ baby is a normal baby who cries more than the average baby.
If the crying continues for more than three hours a day, for more than three days a week and for more than three weeks, your baby qualifies as a colicky baby.
What should I do?
Here are some tips you can use to help your baby.
- If breastfeeding, work with your health professional to continue.
- If you are bottle-feeding, limit air intake via the teat as much as possible – try an anti-reflux system and make sure you burp your baby properly.
- Don’t change infant formula without seeking the advice of a healthcare professional and make sure you use the correct scoop and quantities of powder and water.
- Discuss with your doctor about possible treatment options. There is emerging evidence that certain probiotic strains might help reduce crying and colic in babies.
- Massage your baby’s stomach gently in a clockwise direction, place a warm heat-pack wrapped in a towel on their tummy (warmth is excellent for relieving pain).
- Give your baby a warm bath.
- It is important to note that sucking calms intestinal pain and your baby will want to feed all the time. The risk is your baby overfeeds, resulting in more stomach discomfort.
Most infants regurgitate, that is bring up some of their feed.
Some bring up a small posset and others shoot out a large amount. Some keep on bringing up small amounts until the next feed. This may
be a way of protecting babies from being overfed. As long as your baby is regularly gaining weight, there is no need to worry.
Babies usually outgrow regurgitation by 6-12 months.
What should you do?
Regurgitation usually bothers parents more than the infant. You can minimise the amount of milk an infant brings up by:
- Keeping your baby upright after a feed
- Keeping your baby still after a feed
- Raising the head of the change table and cot
If your baby is bottle fed, let them finish the feed when they want to. They don’t need to finish the bottle. It may be too much for them.
Breastfed infants do not need to be weaned just because they regurgitate.
Breastfed infants usually have looser poos than formula fed infants and they change once solids are introduced. Only be concerned
if the looseness or frequency of your baby’s poos suddenly increases.
What should you do?
Dehydration is a risk for your baby. If your baby is not taking as many feeds or not taking as much fluid as usual, it’s vital to see
your doctor before they become dehydrated.
- Continue breastfeeding
- If you are bottle-feeding then pay extra special attention to hygiene
Hard poos are rare in a breastfed infant. Breastfed infants may sometimes go 1 to 2 weeks without passing stools, but this does not mean
they have hard stools. Bottle-fed infants, on the other hand, have harder poos and sometimes it is painful.
What should you do?
If your infant has hard poos and it looks painful to pass:
- Make sure you are making up the infant formula according to the exact instructions
- If your baby is bottle-fed, stop feeding your baby when they have had enough (you will learn the signs your baby uses to let you know)
- If your baby is over 6 months offer them fruits and vegetables
- Offer water as a drink once your baby has started solids
Also check out related baby topics by visiting the links below:
This fact sheet contains general information and is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional for specific advice for your personal situation.