Baby screaming for food

Seven reasons babies cry and how to soothe them

In this article

  • I'm crying because I'm hungry
  • I'm crying because I have colic
  • I'm crying because I need to be held
  • I'm crying because I'm tired and I need a rest
  • I'm crying because I'm too cold or too hot
  • I'm crying because I need my nappy changing
  • I'm crying because I don't feel well
  • My baby's still crying. How can I soothe her?
  • What should I do if nothing seems to help?
  • Visit our community

Your baby is fully dependent on you. You provide her with the food, warmth and comfort that she needs. When she cries, it's her way of communicating those needs and asking you for attention and care (NHS 2016).

It's sometimes hard to work out which need your baby wants you to take care of. But as your baby grows, she'll learn other ways of communicating with you. For example, she'll get better at eye contact, making noises and smiling.

In the meantime, here are some reasons why your baby may cry, and what you can try to soothe her.

I'm crying because I'm hungry

Hunger is one of the most common reasons why your baby will cry (NHS 2016), especially if she's a newborn. The younger your baby is, the more likely it is that she's hungry.

Your baby's stomach is small and can't hold very much. So it won't take long before she needs another feed. If you're breastfeeding, offer her your breast, even if her last feed doesn't seem that long ago. This is called responsive feeding. Your baby will let you know when she’s had enough, by coming off your breast in her own time, and seeming content and settled.

If you're formula-feeding, your baby may not need more milk for at least two hours after her last feed. Every baby is different, though. If your baby is consistently not finishing her feeds, she may prefer to drink formula little and often. In this case, you could try offering her another feed earlier.

Your baby may not stop crying immediately, but let her keep feeding if she wants to.

I'm crying because I have colic

If your baby cries a lot, but is otherwise healthy, she may have colic (NICE 2017). Your baby may become flushed and frustrated, and refuse your efforts to soothe her. She may clench her fists, draw up her knees, or arch her back (NICE 2017, NHS 2015).

The exact cause of persistent crying isn’t clear. It’s so common in babies, that many experts think it may simply be a normal developmental stage.

Other experts think that it may be associated with tummy problems. For example, an allergy or intolerance to something in your breastmilk, or a type of formula milk. Or it may be linked to wind, constipation or reflux, when your baby brings up feeds (NHS 2015, NICE 2017b).

If you think your baby is crying excessively, take her to your GP to rule out any other causes. Your doctor will check that nothing more serious is causing your baby’s distress.

Whatever the cause, living with a baby who regularly cries inconsolably can be very stressful. It’s important to look after yourself too, so that you have the patience and energy to soothe your little one. These tactics may help you cope with colic.

Remember that this phase will pass: colic tends to peak at two months, and is usually gone by around three to four months.

I'm crying because I need to be held

Your baby needs lots of cuddling, physical contact and reassurance to comfort her (NCT 2018). So her crying may mean that she just wants to be held (HSE 2015).

Swaying and singing to her while you hold her close, will help to distract and comfort her (NICE 2017c).

You could try babywearing with a sling or carrier to keep your baby close to you for longer periods (NCT 2018). She loves the sound of your heartbeat, the warmth of your body and your smell.

How to hold a crying baby

Check out our video for five ways to hold and soothe a crying baby. More baby videos

I'm crying because I'm tired and I need a rest

Your baby may find it hard to get to sleep, particularly if she’s over-tired. The younger your baby is, the more subtle her sleep cues are, so it may take a few weeks for you to recognise the signs. Fussing and crying at the slightest thing, staring blankly into space, and being quiet and still are just some of the ways in which your baby tells you she needs some shut eye (HSE 2015).

Lots of attention from doting visitors may over-stimulate your baby and make it hard for her to sleep, as can too much rocking and singing. Try taking her to a quiet room after a feed and before bed to help her calm down and switch off (NHS 2016).

I'm crying because I'm too cold or too hot

You can check whether your baby is too hot or too cold by feeling her tummy or the back of her neck. Don't be guided by the temperature of your baby's hands or feet. It's normal for them to feel colder than the rest of her body (HSE 2017).

Keep the temperature of your baby's room between 16 degrees C and 20 degrees C. Use a room thermometer to keep track of the temperature. Place her down to sleep on her back with her feet at the foot of her cot. That way she can't wriggle down under the blankets and become too hot (HSE 2017).

Take care not to overdress your baby, or she may become overheated. As a general rule, she needs to wear one more layer of clothing than you to be comfortable (HSE 2017, NCT 2018).

Use cotton sheets and cellular blankets as bedding in your baby's cot or Moses basket. If her tummy feels too hot, remove a blanket or layer, and if it feels cold, simply add one (HSE 2017). If you’re using a sleeping bag, make sure it’s the right tog for the season and the right size for your baby.

I'm crying because I need my nappy changing

Your baby may protest if she has a wet or soiled nappy (HSE 2015). Some babies don't seem to mind unless their skin feels irritated.

If your baby doesn't like having her nappy changed, it may be because of the strange feeling of cold air on her skin. After a week or so, you'll probably be a pro at quick nappy changes. Otherwise, distracting your baby with a song or a toy she can look at during changes may work well.

I'm crying because I don't feel well

If your baby's unwell, she'll probably cry in a different tone from the one you're used to. It may be weaker, more urgent, continuous, or high-pitched (HSE 2015, NHS 2015). If she usually cries a lot but has become unusually quiet, this may also be a sign that she's not well. Here’s how to spot the signs that your baby may be poorly.

Teething may also cause your baby to be more upset than usual. Babies are often irritable and restless in the week before a new tooth comes through. Learn the other signs of teething to look out for.

Nobody knows your baby as well as you do. If you feel that something's not right, trust your instincts and call your GP, midwife or health visitor. Health professionals will always take your concerns seriously.

Call your doctor straight away if your baby is persistently crying and has a fever of 38C or above (if she’s less than three months old) or 39C or above (if she’s three months to six months), is vomiting, or has diarrhoea or constipation (NHS 2015).

If your baby has difficulty breathing through her crying, call 111 for advice immediately or take her to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) (NHS 2015).

My baby's still crying. How can I soothe her?

As you gradually get to know your baby's personality, you'll learn which techniques work best for her. If a cuddle or a feed doesn't do the trick, these suggestions may help:

Play a constant sound

In your womb, your baby could hear the beat of your heart. She probably enjoys being held close to you now because your heartbeat is so familiar.

Other noises mimic the sounds she'll have heard in your womb. The repetitive noise of a vacuum cleaner, washing machine or hairdryer may help to lull your baby to sleep (NICE 2017c).

White noise can also help to soothe your baby. Download an app to your phone or buy a toy that plays a range of sounds, from ocean waves to raindrops.

Rock and sway your baby

Most babies love to be gently rocked. You could rock her:

  • in your arms while you walk around
  • in a rocking chair
  • in a baby swing

You could also try taking her for a ride in your car or for a walk in her pushchair (NICE 2017c).

Try a massage or a tummy rub

Using unscented massage oils or cream specially formulated for babies, gently rub your baby’s back or tummy in a clockwise direction (HSE 2015).

Massaging your baby’s tummy can help with her digestion, and your touch will help to soothe and comfort her. Regular massage may help your baby to cry and fuss less (Underdown et al 2010, Bennett et al 2013). The best time for massage is when your baby is settled and alert. If she cries during the massage, she's telling you she's had enough, so stop and give her a cuddle.

Watch our calming massage video for babies.

Try a different feeding position

Some babies cry during or after feeds (NHS 2016). If you're breastfeeding, you may find that changing the way your baby latches on helps her to feed calmly, without crying or fussing. Ask your health visitor or breastfeeding counsellor to check your positioning.

If your breastfed or bottle-fed baby seems to have painful wind during feeds, she may prefer to feed in a more upright position (NICE 2017c).

Burp your baby after a feed by holding her against your shoulder and gently patting or rubbing her back. If your baby cries straight after a feed though, she may still be hungry, so offer her your other breast or more formula milk.

Let her suck on something

For some babies, the need to suck is very strong. If you're breastfeeding, you could let your baby suckle your breast for comfort. Alternatively, let her suck on your clean finger or knuckle. Or you could offer her a dummy, if you think it may help her (NHS 2016).

Give her a warm bath

A soothing bath may help your baby to calm down (NHS 2016, NICE 2017c). Check the water temperature before placing her in the bath. It should be about 37 degrees C to 38 degrees C. If you don't have a thermometer, dip your elbow into the water. It should feel neither hot nor cold.

Bear in mind that a bath may also make some babies cry more, if they don’t enjoy the sensation of being in water. In time, you'll get to know your baby's likes and dislikes.

What should I do if nothing seems to help?

It’s normal for babies to cry, so try not to blame yourself if your baby simply won't be soothed.

Your baby may just naturally cry a lot in the early weeks. Crying tends to peak at around two months, and usually starts to ease off after that (Wolke 2017). But in the meantime, it's likely to make you and your partner feel stressed and unhappy at times. If she's resisting every effort to calm her down, you may feel rejected and frustrated (St James-Roberts 2012).

Try to remember that you are not the cause of her crying. Sometimes, simply accepting that you have a baby who cries a lot can help (St James-Roberts 2012). If you've met your baby's immediate needs and tried everything you can to calm her, it's time to take care of yourself:

  • Put your baby in her cot and let her cry for a few minutes out of your range of hearing. Take deep breaths and let yourself relax for a moment or two.
  • If you and your baby are both upset and you've tried everything, call a friend or relative for support. Give yourself a break and let someone else take over for a while.
  • Find a local support group or parent-and-baby group. That way you can meet other new parents in the same situation and offer each other moral support.
  • Talk to your health visitor or GP about coping strategies before everything gets too much. Don't let things build up, as it could make things harder for you and your baby.
  • Call a helpline. Cry-sis offers support seven days a week for parents of babies who have sleep problems or who cry excessively. Contact Cry-sis on 08451 228 669. (NICE 2017c)

This crying is probably just a phase. It is very common and it will pass (St James-Roberts 2012). As your baby grows, she'll learn new ways of communicating her needs to you. And when this happens, the excessive crying will soon stop.

Visit our community

If you're struggling with the new challenge of parenthood, meet and chat to others like you in .

You may also like:

  • The truth about colic
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Bennett C, Underdown A, Barlow J. 2013. Massage for promoting mental and physical health in typically developing infants under the age of six months. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (4):CD005038. [Accessed May 2018]

HSE. 2015. Caring for your baby: birth to six months. Health Service Executive. [Accessed May 2018]

HSE. 2017. Don't let your baby get too hot. Health Service Executive. Baby and Child Health. [Accessed May 2018]

NCT. 2018. Babycare tips: how to look after a newborn. NCT. Parenting. [Accessed May 2018]

NHS. 2016. Soothing a crying baby. NHS Choices, Health A-Z, Your pregnancy and baby guide. [Accessed May 2018]

NHS. 2015. Colic. NHS Choices. Health A-Z. [Accessed May 2018]

NICE. 2017. Colic - infantile: summary. Clinical Knowledge Summaries. [Accessed May 2018]

NICE. 2017b. Colic - infantile: diagnosis. Clinical Knowledge Summaries. [Accessed May 2018]

NICE. 2017c. Colic - infantile: management. Clinical Knowledge Summaries. [Accessed May 2018]

Purple crying. nd. What is the period of PURPLE crying? [Accessed May 2018]

St James-Roberts I. 2012. The origins, prevention and treatment of infant crying and sleep problems: an evidence-based guide for healthcare professionals and the families they support. London: Routledge, pp44, 176

St James-Roberts, Peachy E. 2011. Distinguishing infant prolonged crying from sleep-waking problems. Arch Dis Child. 96(4):340-4. doi: 10.1136/adc.2010.200204. Epub 2011 Jan 10 [Accessed May 2018]

Underdown A, Barlow J, Stewart-Brown S. 2010. Tactile stimulation in physically healthy infants: results of a systematic review. J Reproductive Infant Psychol 28(1):11-29. DOI: 10.1080/02646830903247209 [Accessed May 2018]

Wolke D, Bilgin A, Samara M. 2017. Systematic review and meta-analysis: fussing and crying durations and prevalence of colic in infants. J Pediatr 185:55-61. e4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.02.020. Epub 2017 Apr 3 [Accessed May 2018]

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Responding To Your Baby's Cries

Crying serves several useful purposes for your baby. It allows her to call for help when she's hungry or uncomfortable. It shuts out sights, sounds, and other sensations too intense to suit her. And it helps her release tension.

You may notice your baby has fussy periods, even when she's not hungry, uncomfortable, or tired. At times it may seem like nothing can console her. Right after these spells, she may seem more alert than before, and then may sleep more deeply than usual. This kind of fussy crying seems to help babies get rid of excess energy to allow for a more contented state. 

As you get to know your infant's crying patterns, you may feel as if you can identify specific needs by the way she cries. Is she hungry? Angry? Distressed or in pain? Sleepy? Each baby will use her voice differently.

Different types of cries

Sometimes different types of cries overlap. Newborns generally wake up hungry and crying for food. If you're not quick to respond, your baby's hunger cry may turn to a wail of rage. You'll hear the difference. As your baby ma­tures, her cries will become stronger, louder, and more insistent. They'll also begin to vary more, as if to convey different needs and desires.

The best way to handle crying is to respond promptly during her first few months. You cannot spoil a young baby with attention, and if you answer her calls for help, she'll cry less overall.

When responding to your child's cries, try to meet her most pressing need first. If she's cold and hungry and her diaper is wet, warm her up, change her diaper, and then feed her. If there's a shrieking or panicked quality to the cry, consider if a piece of clothing or something else is making her uncomfortable. Perhaps a strand of hair is caught around a finger or toe. If she's warm, dry, and well fed but the crying won't stop, try the following consoling techniques. Find the ones that work best for your baby:

  • Rocking, either in a rocking chair or in your arms as you sway from side to side

  • Gently stroking her head or patting her back or chest

  • Safe swaddling (wrapping her snugly in a receiving blanket)

  • Singing or talking

  • Playing soft music

  • Walking her in your arms, a stroller, or a carriage

  • Rhythmic white noise and vibration

  • Burping her to relieve any trapped gas bubbles

  • Warm baths (most babies like this, but not all)

When all else fails

Sometimes, if all else fails, the best approach is simply to leave the baby alone in a safe location such as a crib. Many babies cannot fall asleep without crying and will fall asleep quicker if left to cry. The crying shouldn't last long if the child is truly tired.

If the crying does not stop, but gets more intense and continues throughout the day or night, it may be caused by colic. Most often, colic means simply that the child is unusually sensitive to stimulation or can't yet console herself. As your baby matures, this inability to self-console—marked by constant crying—will improve.

In breastfeeding babies, sometimes colic is a sign of sensitivity to a food in the mother's diet. Colic drops are expensive, and studies suggest that they're not effective. You can look into more non-medication options such as tweaks to your diet, slow feeding, and appropriate burping ​​to help. 

If your baby is inconsol­able, she may be sick. Check her tempera­ture. If you take it rectally and it is 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) or higher, she could have an in­fection. Contact your pediatrician.

The more relaxed you remain, the easier it will be to console your child. Even very young babies are sensitive to tension and react to it by crying. Hearing a wailing newborn can be agonizing, but letting your frustration turn to anger or panic will only intensify your infant's screams.

Taking a break

If you start to feel you can't handle the situation, set the baby down in a safe location and get help from a family member or friend. This will give you needed relief, and a new face can sometimes calm your baby. No matter how impatient or angry you feel, do not shake or hit the baby. Shaking an infant hard can cause blindness, brain dam­age, or even death. It's important to share this information on crying with any­one else who cares for your baby, including your spouse, partner, or babysitter.


Above all, don't take your newborn's​ crying personally. She's not crying because you're a bad parent or because she doesn't like you. All babies cry, often without any apparent cause. Newborns routinely cry one to four hours a day. It's part of adjusting to this strange new life outside the womb.

No parent can console his or her child every time she cries, so don't expect to be a miracle worker. Instead, take a realistic approach. Line up some help, get plenty of rest, and enjoy all those wondrous moments with your child.

More information

  • Tips for Coping with a New Baby During COVID-19
  • Creating Positive Experiences for Your Infant​

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

Child behavior at the table -


≈ 3 min read time


  • 4-6 month old baby refuses complementary foods
  • Tips for introducing complementary foods up to 6 months nine0010
  • Taste preferences of a child from 7 months to 1 year

Why children can refuse food, be capricious and scandal during the meal, how to overcome all the difficulties and teach the kid the rules of behavior at the table, arouse his interest in food, including new food, and what steps the whole family needs to take for this. nine0003

What if the child refuses to eat and goes hungry? Is it dangerous?

Natalia Kruglova

Nutritionist, nutritionist, pediatrician

Child nutrition

Principles of healthy child nutrition

At 4-6 months, when weaning begins, many babies are reluctant to eat. Some agree to try unfamiliar food, but they are more interested in spreading it on the table for feeding. Others may even be afraid of it. Why it happens?

  • If the child does not want to drink from a bottle and eat from a spoon, this may mean that he is not yet ready. In this case, it is worth making it so that he becomes a member of the family breakfast or lunch: just put him at this moment in a high chair or pick him up. At some point, the child will show interest in cutlery and utensils, and then he himself will want to use his own plate and spoon. Sometimes the baby is ready to drink from a sippy cup or straw, but not from a spoon. If he does not like all the options offered, wait a week or two, and the situation will change. nine0003

  • If the baby is ready to try some foods, but does not want to try others. This is normal: every person, even such a small one, has his own tastes. You can follow the complementary feeding schedule less strictly and introduce the products recommended for this schedule later (but not earlier!) The desired time. It will be easier for the baby if a certain feeding ritual is established and if the new product is introduced when he is calm and in a familiar environment. Do not forget that it is better to start complementary foods with neutral, not sweet tastes. nine0003

  • If the baby throws food. This is absolutely natural, because for a baby, food is not only nutrition, but also an amazing new substance that has yet to be explored.

  • When a child throws mashed potatoes and splashes with juice, he is interested to see not only what will happen with the products, but also your reaction. The mechanism is simple: if an adult reacts emotionally to such an act of a baby, then he wants to repeat it again. If you calmly take food from the child and get out, his interest in such actions will disappear. nine0003

  • Since the process of getting acquainted with complementary foods will inevitably be associated with a mess and constant experiments of the baby, parents need to treat them with a dose of humor. Let the child get dirty in zucchini puree from head to toe - if as a result this healthy vegetable becomes interesting to him, why not? However, it is better to allow such games not on a highchair, but in another place, so that the baby understands that playing and eating are different activities.

  • If the baby is happy to try new food, but reacts with screaming and crying to an unfamiliar product. He may be frightened by something that seems familiar to us. Maybe he has digestive problems. Be calm about his reaction and do not insist on continuing the dinner if the baby cries and screams.

We talk in detail about how, when and with what foods to start complementary foods, here. In doing so, several important points should be taken into account. nine0003

  • Only try new foods when your baby is healthy. Careful attention should be paid to his digestion. If the child suffers from colic or indigestion, new complementary foods should not be introduced.
  • Let your baby try a new product not at the first, but at the second or third feeding (before lunch), before offering him breast or infant formula.
  • Start with one-component purees, without the use of any additives.
  • Do not give your baby more than a third of a teaspoon of a new product for the first time, in 1 - 2 weeks bring it up to the recommended dose for age. nine0010
  • Between the introduction of new dishes in the crumbs menu, take breaks of at least 2 weeks. During this time, you will have the opportunity to notice allergic reactions to a particular product, which may be indicated by signs such as a change in the nature of the stool, rashes, redness and peeling of the skin.
  • Avoid using exotic fruits and vegetables as first foods.
  • Consult your pediatrician before starting complementary foods.

At the beginning of the introduction of complementary foods, children can try everything with the same interest. But already at the age of 7 months, the child is able to form preferences, choosing one food more often than another. Children react differently to certain foods, and after a year they try to take a spoon from an adult and eat what they like best.

Are there any common eating habits that all children have? No, every child is unique. Someone likes carrot puree, and someone likes apple puree. If you offer your baby a puree of one, rather than several mixed flavors, you will quickly determine what he likes. nine0003

How to study the tendencies of your child?

  • Prepare 3 to 5 small meals, one food each.
  • Put them on identical saucers and take one spoon at a time.
  • Between "approaches" to the product, pause so that the baby has time to figure out what's what.
  • He should not be very hungry, because in a state of severe hunger we perceive the taste of the product worse.

You can easily understand which food your baby likes best.

If your child categorically refuses food of a certain consistency (for example, solid or pieces), prefers food of one color, or food in unusual conditions (only in the dark or only on the floor) - you should go to a child psychiatrist to rule out autism spectrum disorders.

Bon appetit to your baby!


  1. Masaru Ibuka. After three it's too late. Moscow: Publishing house "Alpina non-fiction", 2015. - 224 p.
  2. Filonenko Elizabeth. Raising a child from 1 year to 3 years. Reboot. Moscow: Phoenix Publishing House, 2018. - 286 p.
  3. nine0009 Litvak M.E. 5 methods of raising children. Moscow: AST Publishing House, 2015. - 288 p.
Top Child nutrition nine0006 Is it worth it to transfer a one-year-old baby to a common table?

Mother's milk is the ideal food for an infant. Continue breastfeeding for as long as possible, including after the introduction of complementary foods, in accordance with WHO recommendations.

First food nine0006 The first feeding of a child with artificial feeding by months

Mother's milk is the ideal food for a baby, especially in the 1st year of his life. It is an important source of nutrients and energy, which is why WHO recommends that breastfeeding be continued for as long as possible, up to two years of age.

First food nine0006 Complementary foods while breastfeeding

Mother's milk is the best food for a baby, especially in the first six months of life. It remains an important source of energy and nutrients beyond 6 months, so WHO recommends breastfeeding until the age of 2.

First food nine0006 Complementary foods by months: what foods to introduce into complementary foods for a baby up to a year

Not only a lack of nutrients, but also their overabundance can interfere with the proper development of the baby.

Euromed Clinic pediatric neurologist answers questions

A neurologist is one of the main specialists for children from birth. For the first time, your baby meets with a pediatric neurologist while still in the maternity hospital, then scheduled examinations by this doctor are carried out every month, at three, at half a year, at 9months (if indicated), per year. We talked with the pediatric neurologist of EuroMed Clinic Natalia Petrovna Isaenko about why a child is shown to a specialist so often, what are the most common neurological diseases in babies, and what needs to be done to ensure that your child grows up healthy and calm.

— Natalya Petrovna, what does a neurologist pay attention to during routine examinations of babies?

- First of all, the neurologist reveals gross congenital anomalies. Next, we look at how the pre-speech, motor, emotional development of the child goes. nine0003

In each age period, the child should have certain skills. Parents, unlike a neurologist, most often cannot objectively assess how the development of their child fits into age norms.

- But after all, all children are different, and their development may not correspond to the tables and the established framework?

— Yes, it happens. Here it is necessary to approach very individually. Indeed, despite the fact that we are guided by existing norms, we have certain tables, painted schemes of what a child should do at what age, there is a possibility of deviations from them, and this is not scary. Some child may begin to perform certain actions a little earlier, some - a little later. Much depends on the conditions in which the child lives, what parents do in relation to the child, etc. nine0003

But that is why it is important to consult a neurologist in order to professionally assess whether the child is developing normally or there are frightening moments that may indicate certain health problems.

Is it normal for a small child to cry often?

- Recently, it is believed that a healthy child, when he is full, who has enough day and night sleep, should not cry. If the child cries often and for no reason, then there is a problem. These can be headaches, neck problems (subluxations, infringement), neurological problems. In the first months of life - problems with the gastrointestinal tract: colic, increased gas formation, etc. In connection with this, there may be crying during meals, refusal of the breast, of the bottle. During eating, intestinal motility increases, and therefore the child experiences discomfort. nine0003

Young children are usually very weather dependent and react to the weather - this can also be a reason for crying.

It seems to me that many children cry because they are bored, they require parental attention so much. Now there is a psychological acceleration in children and, accordingly, they need more attention. This is usually clearly visible. Many parents themselves provoke this fixation: the child began to cry, the mother took him in her arms, shook him, put him to her chest. Of course, the baby in his mother's arms and, moreover, at the breast is fine, and he will repeat crying, demanding repetition. It is not necessary to apply it to the chest every time the child has cried. It is better to try to switch: distract, rattle a rattle, stroke ... nine0003

Another reason for crying is overwork. Parents often do not believe that the baby can overwork, they do not understand why. Babies have an immature nervous system, plus they receive a huge amount of new information and impressions every day - for them, everything in the world is new and unfamiliar! Therefore, a good sleep is so important, when the child can take a break from impressions.

If the child screams before going to bed, sleeps little, nervously, often wakes up, it is necessary to move the mode, improve sleep, monitor the quality of sleep. nine0003

- When we talk about a full sleep, what do we mean, how should a child sleep?

- For very young children, the norm is to sleep for at least an hour and a half on daytime sleep, six hours in a row - at night. During the adaptation period, in the first months of life, the baby may wake up at night more often, but still, the intervals should be at least 3 hours. Sleeping for 30-40 minutes is not enough, the child does not have enough time to rest. Here such a moment is important: the phase of sleep in a child is just these 30-40 minutes. But the child must be able to move from phase to phase independently. What happens in practice? The child was brought in, opened his eyes, his mother immediately takes him in her arms, begins to feed him. He gets used to it and no longer falls asleep on his own. Therefore, it is important to teach the child to move from phase to phase without waking up: do not touch him if he wakes up, do not disturb him; if he cried, was capricious - pump him up, stroke him, but try so that the child continues to sleep without a break for food. nine0003

Older children who sleep once a day should have 2-3 hours of naps during the day. If you sleep more, that's good.

To improve sleep, the regime is important. I recommend directly writing down in a notebook (or in an application on a smartphone) how much the child sleeps, the time when he fell asleep and woke up, when he screams before going to bed, what his mood is after sleep ... So we can track the quantity and quality of sleep. Look at what days the child slept well, fell asleep easily - and focus on the daily routine. nine0003

- One of the most common diagnoses that many children are given in the hospital is "neurogenic torticollis." How serious is this problem?

- Neurogenic torticollis - asymmetry of muscle tone. A child is often born with asymmetric muscle tone. A small child does not yet have voluntary movements, they are chaotic. And at the moment of relaxation, sleep, the child is drawn to where the tone is increased. That is, the child lies with a certain turn of the head. If you do not deal with this problem, do not correct it, there is a deformation of the neck and skull. The child constantly looks in one direction, lies on one side, as a result, the head flattens, its shape changes. nine0003

You can work with this, the main thing is to do it. What is being done to correct torticollis and its consequences? We change position, we shift the child so that he lies on different sides alternately, and not on one, on his back. Lay on the stomach. Also, therapeutic exercises, massage, swimming pool are recommended for the correction of torticollis.

Torticollis returns to normal between 3 and 6 months of a child's life. During this period, the child becomes more active, turns his head, arms, begins to roll over, tries to crawl, sit down. nine0003

It is important not to confuse neurogenic torticollis, which is treated by neurologists, with congenital muscular torticollis, a gross pathology treated by orthopedic doctors.

Is headaches in children a reason to visit a neurologist?

Yes, definitely. Children under 5-6 years of age should not have headaches - they are not yet ripe for this. In young children, headaches can be caused by somatic causes: parasitosis, anemia, allergies, some problems from the gastrointestinal tract ... nine0003

In older children, headaches can be triggered by problems with the spine of the neck. In the pubertal period, various autonomic dysfunctions are often encountered. This is a common problem in teenagers.

In any case, it is necessary to be examined. There is a good chance that we will not find anything, and the headaches will eventually go away on their own. But it can be a symptom of some serious diseases that should not be left to chance.

Is nocturnal enuresis (urinary incontinence) common? When do we talk about this diagnosis? nine0003

Yes, this is also a common disease. As a diagnosis, enuresis is made after 3-4 years.

If we talk about the norms in development, by the age of one and a half years the child should learn not to urinate at night. A modern child spends some time in disposable diapers. Then they are removed. The first time of the night will be "wet". But by the age of two, “dry nights” should already be formed.

After that, some time passes - and the child begins to urinate again at night, say, at 4 years old. This is secondary enuresis. nine0003

If the diaper is removed, and the child continues to urinate at night, this is primary enuresis.

There are many reasons for enuresis: these are infectious diseases, malformations, dysfunction of the genitourinary system, immaturity of the nervous system, stress, neurosis, etc. In any case, this problem cannot be ignored, but you need to contact a neurologist as soon as possible for correction this disease.

- Young children have convulsions when the temperature rises. How dangerous is it? nine0003

Febrile convulsions (that is, convulsions with an increase in body temperature) is a paradoxical reaction of the nervous system, the cerebral cortex to such an irritant as high temperature. Against this background, there is a splash. Febrile seizures may occur only once, or they may recur with each episode of fever. Most often, they occur in emotional and active children. Special treatment is not required, the main thing is not to allow the body temperature to rise above 37.5 ° C, to bring it down immediately with antipyretic drugs so that episodes of convulsions do not recur. If necessary, the neurologist will recommend sedatives. Such children are observed by a neurologist, it is recommended to see a doctor every six months. nine0003

- Can't febrile convulsions be a sign of incipient epilepsy?

As a rule, febrile convulsions do not have a way out into epilepsy. There are isolated cases when convulsions can really be the debut of epilepsy. Therefore, in any case, it is necessary to show the child to a neurologist so that the doctor can see in which direction it develops.

Is epilepsy generally common?

Yes, epilepsy is a common disease. We, in Novosibirsk, even have a special center where epileptologists work - this is a very narrow specialization in neurology. When we confirm epilepsy in a child, I usually refer the patient to an observation center. So there they will be able to help the baby as efficiently as possible, correctly select the drugs and prescribe the correct treatment. nine0003

What symptoms should parents pay attention to in order not to miss the onset of epilepsy in a child?

- As a rule, when an attack occurs, it is clearly visible. The child has convulsive twitches, the corner of the mouth twitches, the muscles may pull, saliva flows, foam may come from the mouth, he may urinate. But it happens that a child simply freezes during an attack, and, for example, rubs his hands or makes chewing movements for some time. And then everything passes. After an attack, headache, nausea, impaired coordination and speech can be observed. nine0003

Sometimes the first signs of epilepsy appear even before the attack. For example, a child twitches while sleeping. Or he simply changes his usual behavior, becomes obsessive, whiny, asks the same questions in a circle, etc. This is due to the neurological changes that occur with epilepsy.

Thus, if you notice changes in the child's behavior, he behaves unusually, strangely, be sure to show the child to a neurologist!

If possible, I recommend filming the attack on video - it will be much easier for the doctor to understand what is happening with the child. nine0003

- Are there sedatives that can be given to children?

- Hardly ever. Available drugs can be prescribed and given only in hospitals. This is not practiced in outpatient treatment in neurological pediatrics.

With increased excitability and emotionality of the child, I usually suggest starting from afar - to establish a daily routine, give the child the opportunity to actively move and fully relax, walk in the fresh air, etc. nine0003

All drugs (vascular, nootropics, etc.) are prescribed strictly according to indications and cannot be taken without a doctor's recommendation. The consequences of uncontrolled medication may be neurological and behavioral problems in the future: hyperactivity, disinhibition, restlessness, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

How common is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children?

Now this diagnosis is made very often. Although, it seems to me, we often attribute to ADHD what it is not: the characteristics of the temperament and character of the child, his activity or even pedagogical neglect ...

There are many pathological hyperactivity, but there are still more stories with problems in the family and in the interaction of parents with the child.

— Another common disease is nervous tics. How are they treated?

Yes, tics are very common. We treat both with medication, and - most importantly - with the normalization of the regimen. For a "ticking" child, a good sleep, rest, minimizing the TV, phone, computer is very important. It is very useful to send such children to sports clubs. As a rule, children suffering from a nervous tic are very emotional, temperamental, read a lot and sit at the computer. They are emotionally and informationally overloaded. And the nervous system relieves tension, manifesting itself in tics. nine0003

— Speaking of information overload, how do you feel about early development, which is so popular now?

- Badly. Any neurologist, I think, will agree with me. If a child is given a load that is inadequate for his age and development, this can result in quite serious problems in the future, up to psychiatric disorders. A child does not need all this early reading from two years old, English from three and mathematics from five. The child should calmly explore the world, it is important to stimulate his cognitive activity, but do not stuff him with a huge amount of knowledge beyond his age. nine0003

— What are the examinations for the diagnosis of neurological diseases?

- Electroencephalogram (EEG). Invented and created to record epi-activity - to confirm or exclude epilepsy, this is the main focus of this examination.

I also refer children with speech and mental disorders to the EEG to see how all cortical rhythms are formed - by age or not. This is corrected by age, over time. Classes with neuropsychologists, defectologists, the Tomatis method (a program for neuro-sensory stimulation) also help. nine0003

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This is one of the most informative surveys.

Be sure to send for an MRI to understand the cause of headaches, especially if the child complains of a headache when moving, when he starts to jump, run, move actively.

Also, MRI is informative in epilepsy, the attacks of which are not treatable. Then we look at the MRI to see if there is a vascular malformation (deviation from normal development) or another vascular defect. This can cause seizures, and the problem is solved surgically. As a rule, after the operation, the seizures in the child stop. nine0003

MRI allows you to see the structure of the brain and blood vessels, assess the state of the structure, the presence of cysts, etc.

Computed tomography (CT). Typically, a CT scan is ordered after an injury to look for blood in the injured area.

Ultrasound of the vessels of the neck. Headaches, disinhibition, attention deficit, speech delays can be caused by impaired blood flow through the vessels. Ultrasound allows you to diagnose this, as well as to see anatomical defects (C-shaped, S-shaped course of vessels), anatomically incorrectly formed vessels, improper discharge of vessels into the spinal column, vasoconstriction. nine0003

Neurosonography (NSG) - ultrasound of the brain. It is mandatory recommended as a screening (preventive examination) for all newborns. The NSG shows the structures of the brain, how all spheres are formed, the cavity system, ventricles, grooves, the presence of fluid.

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