When a baby screams, there is generally a reason for it: it is hungry, thirsty, in pain or a wet diaper. The light is too bright, the noise too big, or it is boring, dissatisfied or even tired. Screaming babies put parents or caregivers on alert. The child not only tells them that they feel unwell, it also urges them to stop this malaise.
How much screaming is normal?
A screaming time of up to two hours a day in the first three months is considered quite normal. But some babies scream more, much more: persistent and persevering, at least three hours a day, at least three days a week, for more than three weeks.
Such so-called writing babies can be calmed neither by breastfeeding nor by carrying, rocking or winding. They cry so persistently and heartbroken that their parents do not know how to help their child. In any case, the pediatrician should be consulted to rule out any serious illness that may be responsible for the baby's excessive cry.
Schreibaby: causes and triggers
As a cause for the many screams were up until a few years ago mainly digestive problems, diagnosis: three-month colic. Often, colic symptoms such as hard abdomen, red skin and tense and bent arms and legs were observed in the children. Despite a large number of investigations, however, no clear evidence for the suspected causes could be found.
Only about eleven percent of the many screaming children really have stomach aches and digestive problems. Ninety percent of all writing babies express their displeasure without any organic suffering. Modern infant research assumes that many screams express a delayed behavioral regulation.
You could also say it differently: Writing-babies have more difficulty finding their way around after birth than others and therefore cry so much. Their sleep-wake rhythm is disturbed, so they are usually half asleep, are tired and constantly whining. The writing babies can become "screaming kids". These are extremely restless, show behavioral problems such as beating the head or running against walls, suffer from eating and sleeping disorders or later on the attention deficit syndrome (ADHD).
Help against screaming without end
Not only for the nerves of the parents remedy is needed. Calming and relaxation comes first. Cuddle with your child or rock it gently as soon as it screams. Soothers, a warm bath or a massage can be helpful. Many babies have a calming effect when they are often carried in the towel or bag during the day. The close physical contact with the mother is good for them.
Also eye contact is important according to experts. Try to get your child used to a normal day-night rhythm. If the baby sleeps more than three hours uninterruptedly during the day, wake it up gently. So the longest sleep phases (more than five hours) are postponed to the night.
Some writing babies find that they can partially help themselves by putting their thumbs, fingers or whole hand in their mouths to suck on. That calms down.
Very important: Do not get nervous when the baby starts screaming. Restlessness and hecticness transfer quickly to the child, just confuse the baby in addition and the screaming gets worse.
In addition, there are various ways to get advice and help. In most cities, for example, there are so-called scream ambulances. They are often connected to children's centers or children's hospitals. A central point of contact with many years of experience is the "Munich Consultation for Writing Babies" in the Children's Center Munich.
Sources: 1 Hofacker, N. v. (1998). Early childhood disorders of behavioral regulation and the parent-child relationship. For the differential diagnosis and therapy of psychosomatic problems in infancy. In: K. v. Klitzing (ed.): Psychotherapy in early childhood. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Rup-recht.50-71. 2 Brazelton, TB, Cramer, BG (1994). The early bond. 2nd edition Stuttgart: Klett Cott (pgk)