chapter  Seventeen
10 Pages

Crying and Colic

WithQuentin Spender, Niki Salt, Judith Dawkins, Tony Kendrick, Peter Hill, David Hall, Jackie Carnell

Crying is one of the most powerful ways in which an infant can attract adult attention. One of the commonest reasons for frequent or near continual crying in a young baby is hunger. Many parents feel that their inconsolably crying baby must be in pain and therefore ill. Colic will probably be implicated in the majority of these cases, and the child will be physically well. The reputed Chinese aphorism 'difficult birth, difficult child' contains a grain of truth. Babies who have had complicated and traumatic deliveries have been shown to be more irritable and to cry more, and this is also true of premature and low-birth-weight babies. Maternal Anxiety has been suggested that anxiety and tension in the mother may contribute to her baby's crying. Many parents attempt to use medicines to soothe crying babies. The type most commonly used is gripe water, although there is no reliable research-based evidence to show that it works.