Q & A with the Pediatrician about crying, hunger cues, and bedtimes

Q & A with the Pediatrician about crying, hunger cues, and bedtimes 1I recently stumbled across a steno pad with a list of "Questions for the Pediatrician" that I jotted down when our daughter was just a few months old. I thought it might be helpful to post a few of my questions here, along with the answers that I received from my Pediatrician*, for any new moms out there who might be having similar concerns...

Q: How much crying is "normal"?
A: The only way that babies communicate is through crying. Try feeding, changing the diaper, swaddling, walking, putting baby in a carrier, etc. Sometimes babies cry for other reasons, but...as long as baby doesn't have a fever and is pooping/peeing/eating regularly, there's no need for concern. Do respond to your baby's cries, but take a break when you need to (put baby in a safe place or take turns with your spouse).

Q: How do I know if my daughter is overeating? She's exhibiting constant hunger cues.
A: Babies don't overeat. They're pretty good at self-regulating. If your baby is giving hunger cues (opening mouth, sucking, sticking fingers in mouth, crying), feed him/her! Your baby might be going a growth spurt.

Q: What is the best time for "bedtime"?
A: Your baby probably isn't on a schedule yet, but you can start having a "routine" to help your baby to begin to have day/night associations. A simple bedtime routine is best for wee ones - milk, change diaper, book. Some parents also incorporate a bath, a massage, a song, or swaddling. Eventually, your baby will figure out her days and nights...and sleep will again return to your home.

* These answers are paraphrases of my pediatrician's answers and are not intended as formal medical advice. Please consult your physician if you have follow-up questions or concerns.

(Photo by: ernstl)

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