Sleeping and Crying


Sweet Baby: Lullabies to Soothe Your Newborn

CD available though this office.

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child & Your Fussy Baby published by Ballantine, New York


How To Soothe Your Baby

It is important to understand that different methods work for different children; therefore, what worked best for your friend’s child may not necessarily work for your child. The process of discovering what works best for your child is part of discovering the special individuality of your child.


Methods

  • Rhythmic rocking motions: crib, cradle, swing, rocking chair, car rides, breathing slowly and deeply while holding baby close to your chest.
  • Swaddling: soft front cloth carrier.
  • Sucking: pacifier, fist, wrist and fingers.
  • Find a comfortable position for sleeping: put head in a corner of the crib, use the same soft blanket every night, place baby with only a diaper on father’s bare chest for a nap; sleep in the same bed with your baby.
  • Sound: talk to your baby; womb sounds, heartbeat sounds, humming, sounds of running water, vacuum cleaner, music or lullabies.
  • Motion: walking, dancing, crib vibrator, bounce and massage.
  • Feeding: warm or cold formula, feed slowly in an upright position, burp several times during a feeding, warm hot-water bottle beside baby’s tummy during feeding.
  • Position: place baby high on your shoulder with his face down and your shoulder pressing into his tummy, place baby on your hip, facing outward, and let the tummy drape over your arm, hold the baby’s cheek close to your cheek and slowly dance around in circles.
  • “Remedies” of no proven value: gripe water, mixtures of whiskey, sugar and milk, antacids, anti-gas agents (simethicone), barbiturates, weak peppermint tea, avoiding milk products or avoiding sugar if you are nursing. 


Stragtegies

  • Carry more: carry baby even when there is no crying during wakeful periods.
  • Frequent feedings: shorten the intervals between feeding.
  • Actively sleep: anticipate sleep times in order to soothe baby to sleep at those times, motionless sleep. 


How To Cope: How To Care For Yourself

Techniques or Strategies for parents 

  • IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT: Don’t blame yourself for the crying. It’s not a reflection of parenting skills. Share your feelings with your spouse. Accept the fact that you are angry or disappointed. Openly discuss your feelings of ambivalence, anger, and guilt. Confront your anger and your sense of helplessness. Call the hospital where your child was born or call your pediatrician and tell him what every mother feels in your position: “I’m exhausted, I’m angry because my baby is crying too much. I feel isolated and helpless because nothing seems to help; people say it’s my fault and I’m afraid that I might lose control of myself…please give me the name of someone who has been through this before or a professional counselor that I can talk to.” Post-partum depression may be much more severe or prolonged if the baby is always crying. If you have family members who have been diagnosed as being depressed or you feel that your sense of hopelessness, helplessness, or sadness is severe, consider seeking professional mental health counseling. Focus on your own anguish, your own loss of self-esteem, your fears that you are a failure as a mother, instead of on the crying of the baby so you can deal with your own pain in a constructive manner.
  • Call Parents Anonymous. Don’t listen to criticism. Don’t allow visitors who make you feel worse than you already do. Don’t always assume that your crying baby is hungry. Don’t psychologize: Don’t assume that the crying means that your baby is lonely, angry or insecure. Don’t be too intellectual: What does the crying mean? What is it that my baby is trying to tell me? Cling to the fact that this is a temporary stage and that the baby will outgrow it in a few months. African (“Kung”) and Central American Indian (Mayan) babies who are held all the time and are breast fed continuously throughout the day and night also have crying spells for as long as two hours despite this very close mother-baby relationships. Northeastern Brazilian infants who are described as feisty, difficult, and demanding are more likely to survive. Masai Africans admire aggressiveness, assertiveness and boldness and it is exactly these more difficult crying infants who survive adverse conditions. So maybe the reason some babies cry so much reflects nature’s way of ensuring strength of character, which is needed to become a successful warrior, hunter or leader.
  • TAKE A BREAK FROM THE BABY: Keep the baby out of your bedroom in order to avoid the temptation to respond to every quiet whimper and to give you a place to retreat to for a rest. When people call to congratulate you and offer to help, don’t reflexly say “No thank you”, but ask if they wouldn’t mind baby-sitting, do an errand for you, or give you the opportunity to do something for yourself. Turn off your intercom or monitor to give your brain a mental break from your baby’s breathing sounds. Take a warm shower, lie down for 15 minutes, do minimum housework. Reduce your expectations, slow down your lifestyle. Put a sign on the door “Do Not Disturb”. Take your phone off the hook or use an answering machine. Nap when your baby sleeps; go to bed as early as possible in the evening. Never wake a sleeping baby. Don’t watch the clock to expect any predictable schedule.
  • Take time for yourself. Get out of the house every day, even if it’s only for ten minutes, do something unrelated to childcare. Ask for help from your friends; contact other women where you delivered. Ask your pediatrician for some names of women who recently have gone through the ordeal of having a crying baby. Hire a baby-sitter, but don’t feel that you have to leave the house when the sitter is there. You might use this break to bathe or sleep. Find a doctor whom you can trust. Use relaxation techniques that you learned in prenatal classes.
  • As a last resort, when you feel you can’t take anymore, place your baby in his crib, close as many doors as possible between you and your baby, place some earphones on and turn up the volume to drown out the sound of crying, or take a shower so that you can regain your strength to lovingly care for your baby.


Categories For Crying

  • UNMET BIOLOGICAL NEEDS: Hunger, Thirst, Chilliness, Overtired, Soiled or Wet
  • Comment: Babies with normal weight gain and normal examinations, who appear to be healthy in all ways, may still have periods of crying for no apparent biological reason.
  • “MEDICAL” PROBLEMS: Pain, Distress, Discomfort, Teething, Illnesses, Diaper rash, Not in a comfortable position, Trapped gas, Breathing night air, Synthetic, colored or flavored vitamin drops, Allergies and food intolerances: Gas-producing foods such as cabbage, beans, onions or caffeine in mother’s diet; reaction to cow’s milk protein or soy protein. Withdrawal from drugs that mother took during pregnancy or labor.
  • Comment: Elimination of all possible allergenic substances in the baby’s diet and the breast-feeding mother’s diet and the absence of any illnesses after a thorough physical examination and laboratory tests do not necessarily produce a non-crying baby. Therefore, these “medical” problems rarely cause chronic crying in babies.
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL/EMOTIONAL DISTRESS:
  • Within the baby: Stimulus sensitive, can’t handle normal external or environmental stimulation. Lost a pacifier. Boredom, anger, temper, crankiness, naughtiness. “Leave me alone”, “No language but a cry”. Expression of a healthy ego that elicits prompt nurturing responses from parents. A signal for help, communicates a need, proximity promoting behavior. Releases tension or angry or negative feelings. An “organizing force” that allows a baby to discharge the stimulation accumulated during the day so that the baby can sleep at night. A long difficult labor.
  • Comment: There is simply no way to tell whether these theories are true or not because infants cannot talk to us. The popularity of psychological theories to “explain” crying has replaced a previous popular “explanation” that it was how tense you were during the pregnancy, which caused the crying.
  • Caused by the parents (“mother bashing”): High maternal anxiety during pregnancy. Not enough attention because of fear of spoiling. Increasing household tension as parents return home from work.
  • Comment: Every parent of fraternal twins knows that despite giving both children love and affection equally, there are individual differences in the amount and quality of crying. Scientific studies have never demonstrated that family tension or anxiety causes babies to cry.
  • Uncategorized Crying – DEVELOPMENTAL /PHYSIOLOGICAL STAGE (Factors mostly within the child: Heightened arousal of nervous system, immaturity of neurological inhibitory system. Immature or hypersensitive central nervous system, immature digestive system. High serotonin & low melatonin levels, overactive colonic muscles. Temperament: part of personality or a precursor to personality. Low self-soothing ability. An effective biological survival mechanism: “Pick me up (it’s safer in your arms than on the ground), rock me (that’s how I know I’m safe in your arms) and feed me.” Baby’s own inner biological drives or impulses cause him to kick, swing his arms and exercise his lungs because he is full of energy.
  • Comment: All studies have shown that there occurs some uncategorized crying in all babies. The crying is minimal during the first weeks of life and peaks around the second month. There is more uncategorized crying in the evening hours, when the crying is at its peak during the second or third month of life. Most dramatically, the uncategorized crying tapers off and ends around the third or fourth month of life. This pattern is found in all studies, even in societies where infant care practices vary greatly from our own. There are no discontinuities in measurements of uncategorized crying: that is, there is a continuum whereby some babies have a little, some more and some a great deal. Those babies who have a great amount of uncategorized crying in all cultures, the peculiar time course, the evening time of occurrence, and the great differences between individual babies suggest that parenting practices (such as method of feeding) are not as important as developmental biological in the causation of crying.


HISTORICAL “EXPLANATIONS” WHICH ARE NO LONGER BELIEVED: MYTHS

Medieval: Possessed by the devil; “changelings” were both deformed children and children who cried too much because they were under the power of the Devil. Puritans: Sin should be eradicated immediately after birth and crying was an expression of anger, which required the discipline of the rod.

Freudians: Crying contributes to ego development.

Behaviorists: Prompt responsiveness reinforces crying.

Modern: Parents fail to meet the emotional needs of their baby (Psychology replaces Spiritually).

More Myths: Mother’s nervousness; babies personalities merely reflect their mothers’ feelings. Perfect mothers do not have crying babies. Your breasts are too small to make enough milk. Switching from breast milk to formula. Boys cry more because they are tenser. First-born babies cry more because their mothers are less experienced. Iron in formula.

Northwestern Children's Practice

Pediatricians located in Gold Coast, Chicago, IL

The Northwestern Children’s Practice team educates parents to help them raise healthy and loving children and educates children to help them develop healthy habits. As one of the best pediatrician offices in Chicago, our health care providers are dedicated to providing anticipatory guidance to help families navigate from one visit to the next. Founded by Dr. Marc Weissbluth in 1973, the Northwestern Children’s Practice continues to thrive in Chicago’s Gold Coast, a few blocks away from Lurie Children’s Hospital. This welcoming team of experienced child health advocates cares for families in the Chicago-land area and beyond. The Northwestern Children’s Practice offers annual check-ups, lactation support, adolescent visits, sports physicals, vaccines, and more. Besides providing health care for children from infancy through young adulthood, the practice has doctors and nurse practitioners that specialize in sleep consultations, nutrition, and weight management counseling, treatment and prevention of childhood obesity and safe immunization practices. Several of our nurses are trained as lactation consultants to provide support during newborn well-visits. Our lactation consultants and doctors also lead a weekly support group for new parents. Topics often discussed are newborn feeding, including breastfeeding, sleep, development, and safety. 

The Northwestern Children’s Practice has continued to grow throughout the years and now includes a team of doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses and office staff who work together to provide comprehensive care with individualized attention. The office is located several blocks from Lurie Children’s Hospital, Prentice Women’s Hospital, and Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Patients can be seen at Northwestern Children’s Practice’s convenient walk-in clinic at 8-11 am, Monday through Friday and at 10 am on Saturday and Sunday. No appointments are necessary for the walk-in clinic. Scheduled visits are available Monday through Friday as well as a limited number of well-visits on both Saturday and Sunday. 

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Northwestern Children's Practice

The Northwestern Children’s Practice team educates parents to help them raise healthy and loving children and educates children to help them develop healthy habits. As one of the best pediatrician offices in Chicago, our health care providers are dedicated to providing anticipatory guidance to help families navigate from one visit to the next. Founded by Dr. Marc Weissbluth in 1973, the Northwestern Children’s Practice continues to thrive in Chicago’s Gold Coast, a few blocks away from Lurie Children’s Hospital. This welcoming team of experienced child health advocates cares for families in the Chicago-land area and beyond. The Northwestern Children’s Practice offers annual check-ups, lactation support, adolescent visits, sports physicals, vaccines, and more. Besides providing health care for children from infancy through young adulthood, the practice has doctors and nurse practitioners that specialize in sleep consultations, nutrition, and weight management counseling, treatment and prevention of childhood obesity and safe immunization practices. Several of our nurses are trained as lactation consultants to provide support during newborn well-visits. Our lactation consultants and doctors also lead a weekly support group for new parents. Topics often discussed are newborn feeding, including breastfeeding, sleep, development, and safety. 

The Northwestern Children’s Practice has continued to grow throughout the years and now includes a team of doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses and office staff who work together to provide comprehensive care with individualized attention. The office is located several blocks from Lurie Children’s Hospital, Prentice Women’s Hospital, and Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Patients can be seen at Northwestern Children’s Practice’s convenient walk-in clinic at 8-11 am, Monday through Friday and at 10 am on Saturday and Sunday. No appointments are necessary for the walk-in clinic. Scheduled visits are available Monday through Friday as well as a limited number of well-visits on both Saturday and Sunday. 


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More NWCP Resources
  • Our new parent support group meets weekly (Tuesdays at 12:30), this group is led by our lactation consultants and physicians and helps to advise on the concerns of families of infants. Topics often discussed include newborn feeding (including breastfeeding), sleep, and development.


  • We offer complimentary prenatal visits to expecting parents as a forum for the concerns of new parents. We have an exchange of information to discuss any prenatal issues, family history of medical issues, what to expect in the hospital, what to expect from your doctor visits in the hospital and what to expect during the transition to home. We will discuss important things to think about including newborn feeding, circumcision, vaccines and newborn screening tests.

    We also offer similar visits to adoptive families and to families who are considering changing pediatricians.

  • We have walk-in clinic hours 7 days/week. Patients can be seen at 8 am by physicians and pediatric nurse practitioners on Monday through Friday. Later walk-in hours with a nurse practitioner are available until 11 am also on Monday through Friday.

    Patients can be seen during our weekend walk-in clinic hours on Saturday and Sunday at 10 am.  

    No appointment is necessary

Our Office

Announcements
  • In June 26, 2016 Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital launched a new advertising campaign. Dr. Unger is one of the doctors featured in the brand concept. You can see her and other doctors from Lurie Children's Hospital in magazines, and on billboards at the hospital and on the expressway. All, for your one.

  • We will have evening hours and weekend well-visits available by appointment!

    Please call to schedule.

  • Come in for your summer/school physicals!

    Make sure your child is up to date with vaccines. At the 11 year old visit we recommend the 3 adolescent vaccines including Tdap, Meningitis and HPV.

    At the 16 year old visit we give a booster for meningitis, and we initiate the Meningitis Type B vaccine series.

    To learn more about the HPV vaccine, please click here.

    To learn more about the Meningitis Type B vaccine, Please click here.

    American Academy of Pediatrics, Healthychildren.org 

     

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Accepted Insurance Plans

Listed are the major insurance providers we accept. For more information regarding specific plans, please call our office.

Aetna
BCBS
Cigna
Coventry Health Care
HFN
Humana
Interplan
Land of Lincoln Health
Multiplan PHCS
PHCS
United Healthcare
Testimonials

Words from our patients

  • Yelp

    "I have been taking my 6 month old son to NCP since he was born and I have only encountered top level service and medical advice from the doctors and nurses."

    Don J.
  • Yelp

    "We've been going to NCP for almost ten years...I am more than ecstatic to say that they've been very dedicated and have always been there for our family health issues."

    Sylvia O.
  • Yelp

    "They are in tune with our girls, proactive about health care and give honest, practical advice. We moved out to the suburbs but will not stop going to this practice..."

    Pam B.
  • Google+

    "Very happy with my experience with NCP for my three children! Our primary is Dr. Hirsh but had great experiences with Drs. Unger, Li, King and Goldstein as well!"

    Sanna B.
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Northwestern Children's Practice
680 North Lake Shore Drive
Suite 1050
Chicago, IL 60611