Were my babies going to have attachment issues? Lester, who is sixty years old and the director of the center, regards colic as a behavioral disorder that afflicts the entire family.
The crying will stop, but the relationship risks becoming disordered, and this can have a lasting effect on the child. Last December, I met Lester at his office in the clinic, which occupies a floor of a former foundry in a working-class neighborhood of Providence. The machine, which is the size and shape of a P.
As a graduate student in the early nineteen-seventies, Lester spent two years in Guatemala studying infant malnutrition, the subject of his dissertation. One day, in a small village, he was startled by the sound of an infant crying frantically.
How to Comfort a Fussy Baby
He wondered whether the infants, some of whom were malnourished, had suffered neurological damage. He recorded the cries on a tape cassette, and compared them with recordings of cries of well-nourished babies from the same area. In the nineteen-eighties, Lester began a study at Brown of more than two hundred premature and full-term babies, analyzing their crying patterns and developmental problems. But, by giving parents permission to put their babies down, he is treating the family members who may be suffering most.
One morning at the colic clinic, I met Juliana, a thirty-year-old woman from Guatemala, who was carrying her eight-week-old daughter, Maria, in a car seat. Juliana, a tall woman with shoulder-length black hair, was pale and had dark circles under her eyes. She and her daughter were shown into an examination room, where Juliana spent nearly an hour speaking, through a translator, with Pamela High, a professor of pediatrics at Brown and the medical director of the clinic, and Jean Twomey, a psychiatric social worker.
Lester, who had introduced himself to Juliana, observed the encounter through a one-way window in an adjoining room. He limits the number of adults in the examination room, so as not to overwhelm the babies and their parents. In a telephone conversation with Twomey the previous week, Juliana had said that she worked as a day-care provider in her home, in Providence, and that in addition to Maria and a seven-year-old daughter she cared for three toddlers. At the clinic, Juliana told High and Twomey that she found caring for Maria overwhelming.
The baby also had trouble nursing; she would open her mouth and latch on to a nipple, but as she began to suck she seemed to choke.
After a few minutes, the baby began to fuss. Juliana picked her up and offered her a bottle of formula, but Maria took only a few sips. Her cries grew louder and more insistent, and she began waving her arms and jerking her legs toward her belly. Over the next hour and a half, Juliana repeatedly picked up Maria in a futile effort to soothe her. At one point, she handed the baby to High, who was also unable to calm her.
The Colic Conundrum
Juliana looked skeptical, and High repeated the advice. Finally, Juliana nodded. The baby is boss. High prescribed a higher dose of Zantac, though she noted that Maria did not spit up much and told Juliana that it was unlikely that reflux alone was causing the colic. A physical cause for colic can be identified in fewer than ten per cent of cases. Then Lester entered the room and smiled warmly at Juliana. He told her how much he had enjoyed working in Guatemala. One of the key things we teach moms with colicky babies is that this unhealthy symbiosis needs to be broken. The baby must learn self-soothing.
High and Twomey told me that the physician who referred Juliana to the clinic noted that she was very depressed. Four years ago, High conducted a survey of more than four thousand Rhode Island women, comparing the incidence of maternal depression and inconsolable infant crying. Life in the womb is very jiggly. Imagine your baby bopping around inside your belly when you jaunt down the stairs! While slow rocking is fine for keeping quiet babies calm, you need to use fast, tiny motions to soothe a crying infant mid-squawk.
For the safety of your infant, never, ever shake your baby in anger or frustration. Many fussy babies relax into a deep tranquility when they suck.
Sometimes babies cry just to release stress—and it’s good for them
Many babies calm easier with a pacifier. The keys to good sleep are swaddling and white noise. In another "Aha! Parents especially love when it quickly calms babies for those 2 a. Yes, please!
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Baby crying All the reasons it happens and how you can help - Motherly
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The crying that doctors can’t stop.
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