All babies cry. Some more, some less. But when one calls a baby cry as a child? And what can parents do? An interview with the psychologist Frauke Ostmann of the counseling center "early Prevention" in Karlsruhe.

What a cry baby?

Baby pink suit screaming

Photo: © Jsheets19

All babies cry. That's good, because the little people have no other way to tell their parents: "Do something, I'm not good", In most cases, parents do then just the thing: They comfort, feed or lull you to sleep - depending on what their child needs - and it calmed down. But the so-called cry of children are different. They often cry for several hours at a stretch without their parents can see a reason for it. They also want to do something so that it goes well their child back, but are rat- and helpless. The psychologist Frauke Ostmann has since 2002 been counseling center "early Prevention" in Karlsruhe and works with parents who are looking for assistance in dealing with their babies. A Urbia interview:

When is a baby ever called a cry baby?

Purely scientific point of view there are of course criteria: a child walking three hours a day, three days a week over a period of three weeks, it is called a cry baby. but for my work with the concerned parents that does not matter. Here's more important that the child's persistent crying is perceived by parents as a burden - whether a half or eight hours a day. I can the parents do not send away and say, "Your child is not a cry baby", to take the feelings of the parents seriously is important to look together with them, which you can change to improve everyday life for all.

Does the increased screaming at birth on?

Whether a child has difficulty with the start in life, is evident in the first two to three weeks after the expected date. After six weeks, the cry is most pronounced. In most children it's over with three, four months, the screaming is getting less and less. We are talking, however, do not have children in whom the cry has physical causes such as food intolerances, reflux or orthopedic problems.

They say the children "Difficulties with the start in life", Is that the reason why some children cry so much more than others?

So you can rewrite the good. In technical jargon, this is called a 'disruption of behavior regulation': the child is not able to regulate itself, for example, to calm down by sucking on his sleeve or to look away when it has received enough stimuli. In the consequent overstimulation reacting with screams. These children find it initially difficult to cope with the demands of life. These include the digestive - like the so-called three-month colic - or the alternation between wakefulness and sleep. Depending on the temperament, stress in pregnancy or during birth or other stress factors, such adaptation does not succeed in some babies so quickly and not without help. When parents understand what is going on in their child, which is often already provide relief. But this explanation helps to take the pressure out of the situation. The stress of the parents finally has a direct impact on the child.

In order to help the child, so you have to support parents?

Yes, because when parents seek help from me, the situation has become for all a burden. The child is obviously bad and parents then. You feel helpless and crying strain on her nerves.

And what about your help for parents in practice?

I work with each pair of individual solutions for its situation. How do they best deal with the screaming? Often the idea that the child may cry because something has to go and the parents accompany it helps. Then it's better to endure. It is also important to organize outside help. An hour break to watch the grandparents or friends on the child, can already work wonders. Maybe you can make a plaster or domestic help. Parents need to realize that it is equally important that it is good for them if they want to help their child. But what is good for mothers and fathers different. I must not trip even additional stress with my proposals.

Often a reduction of stimuli helps

Nevertheless, there are certain general measures that can help to calm the baby for the parents of these children?

Naturally. There are two things that should be changed. One is the sleeping pattern, the other are the stimuli to which the child is exposed: The child should be confronted with as few impressions. This includes, for example, that you do not jump for hours on your fitness ball or often offer new toy. The children are thus distracted while short term, long term, but that's too restless. I recommend not to change the attitude of the infant often. External stimuli such as radio or television also disrupt. But here again: It must be possible for the parents. Is the cry of a mother relaxed endure if they can thereby television, which is obviously not ideal but ok. A relaxed mother is still the best "medicine",

And what to consider when it comes to sleep?

The children we are talking about, are often difficult to 'read' than others. They do not act tired, because they indeed lack the ability to 'switch off' by itself. Therefore, it is important, especially the little ones in the first six weeks after an hour - to get back to sleep - when they are older by a half to two hours. It is then no matter how - whether on dad's belly, in a stroller or sling. It has to be doable and enjoyable for parents. Many parents are afraid to get used to something wrong their children. It's at this age but impossible. Much more important is that the little ones come to rest. also helps comply with every day the same rhythm.

How fast can you observe in their work improvement with the families?

Many parents are already sufficient one to two dates: The information on why their child is crying so much, the understanding of their impact and points of what they can actually do, then submit. If there are other problems in the family or if it is difficult parents to build a positive relationship with the baby despite the many crying and cope with the current situation, the advice will take longer. By working together, parents are growing literally with their duties. I try to support them is to pay more attention to their own sense. Our own feeling is a better guide than advice from others or books. This unsettling usually only addition. is in Erziehungsratgeber: Dear sling as a pram, for the mother-child belongs in your own room, not to the parents' bed ... It do parents actually very good in the sense of what is good for their child. Each solution is then O.K. if it fits for each family and does not harm the child.

Are the so-called "screaming children" has long been known, and these are a rather new phenomenon?

The first "cry baby ambulance" was founded in 1991 in Munich by Mechthild Papusek after years of research on infants. It is interesting that there is excessive crying only in the western industrialized countries. Here, according to the literature ten to thirty percent of the children cry children. As a possible explanation, the living conditions of pregnant women and young families are in our society: For pregnant and weekly beggars there is no breathing space, they themselves often want as long as possible and do anything after birth once again - as work, household lead, etc. In addition, have come many mothers with their children alone all day. In cultures that are supported in the women where babies are born much that excessive crying does not occur. The mothers involved with us are often caught in a vicious circle. Because the children are crying, they avoid groups such PEKiP or meetings with other mothers and isolate themselves so even more.

Understandably, they do not want to expose themselves more additional pressure ...

...yes, of course they are particularly affected by the competition that often exists between parents. The individual would particularly benefit from the exchange with others. Also, they have - made no sense of achievement than parents - especially the first child. You have not to be security good parents. I can only all those who feel helpless in dealing with their child, encourage them to turn to a counseling center. It is worth it ..

Further information:

Counseling services for affected parents is now available in almost every major city. These are affiliated either cry ambulances to hospitals, or - as in the example Karlsruhe - part of the educational counseling. Addresses obtained via the homepage of GAIMH (infra), Psychological counseling centers, children's centers, midwives, pediatricians or youth services.

Recommended reading:
"Our baby is crying day and night. Help for exhausted parents" of Maurie Fries

Society for Mental Health in early childhood (GAIMH e.V.):