As a nanny you know that all babies cry. Crying is really like a baby’s first language. In fact, a baby will cry differently to indicate different things. A baby crying in pain tends to cry violently in high pitched screams while a baby who is uncomfortable may cry with a whiny and repetitive tone that increases in both volume and intensity. The more time you spend with a baby the better you’ll be able to decipher her cries and meet the need that she’s trying to communicate.
When healthy babies cry more than three hours per day, three days per week, for longer than three weeks, they may be said to have colic. This is referred to as the “rule of three.” There is no identified caused for colic though theories of colic include abdominal pain, reflux and gas. According to Dr. Harvey Karp, colic typically peaks around 6 to 8 weeks and usually ends by the third or fourth month.
While a small number of colicky babies simply can’t be calmed, swaddling, holding a baby in the side or stomach position, making rhythmic shushing sounds, swinging and offering the baby a pacifier to suck on can be effective soothing strategies.