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Early evening is the most common time for this to happen. This can be hard for you, as it's often the time when you're most tired and least able to cope.

If you're breastfeeding, you may find that improving your baby's positioning and attachment helps them settle. You can go to a breastfeeding drop-in and ask for help, or talk to your health visitor. It may be that something you're eating or drinking is affecting your baby. If you think this is happening, try keeping a diary of what you eat and when the crying happens.

If you see any patterns, talk to your health visitor. Speak to your health visitor or GP for more information and advice. It can be exhausting if you've tried everything and nothing seems to comfort your baby. Colic Excessive crying could be a sign that your baby has colic. Everyone agrees that colic exists, but nobody knows what causes it. Some doctors think it's a kind of stomach cramp. The crying sounds miserable and distressed, and stops for a moment or two, then starts up again, which suggests it could be caused by waves of stomach pain.

The crying can go on for some hours. There may be little you can do except try to comfort your baby and wait for the crying to pass. Or they may be ill if they are crying and have other symptoms, such as a high temperature.

If this is the case, contact your health visitor or GP. Get medical attention as soon as you can if your baby: During the day, Monday to Friday, contact your GP surgery. Getting help with a crying baby You can talk to a friend, your health visitor or GP.

If you decide to talk to your health visitor or GP, it can help to keep a record of how often and when your baby cries. For example, this might be after every feed or during the evening. Keeping a record can also help you identify the times when you need extra support. You could think about possible changes to your routine.

There may be times when you're so tired and angry you feel like you can't take any more. This happens to a lot of parents, so don't be ashamed to ask for help. If you don't have anyone who can take care of your baby for a short time and the crying is making you stressed, put your baby in their cot or pram, make sure they're safe, close the door, go into another room and try to calm yourself down.

Never shake your baby No matter how frustrated you feel, you must never shake your baby. Shaking moves their head violently and can cause brain damage. How to change a nappy How to change a nappy Babies need frequent nappy changes, but how often they need changing depends on how sensitive their skin is. Some babies have very delicate skin and need changing as soon as they wet themselves, otherwise their skin becomes sore and red.

Other babies can wait to be changed until before or after every feed. What you need for nappy changing Before you change your baby's nappy, wash your hands and get everything you need in one place, including: That way, if you need to see to another child for a moment, your baby can't fall. It's best done sitting down so you don't hurt your back. If you're using a changing table, keep an eye on your baby at all times.

You shouldn't rely on the straps to keep your baby secure.

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  • Never walk away or turn your back. Older babies may try to wriggle away when you're changing them. You could give them a toy or use a mobile to distract them. Changing a nappy It's just as important to clean your baby fully whether they have wet themselves or done a poo.

    Is it normal for my baby's poos to change? What size car seat?

    If your baby's nappy is dirty, use the nappy to clean off most of the poo from your baby's bottom. Then use the cotton wool and plain warm water or baby wipes to remove the rest and get your baby really clean.

    Clean the whole nappy area gently but thoroughly and make sure you clean inside the folds of skin. Girls should be cleaned from front to back to avoid getting germs into their vagina. Boys should be cleaned around the testicles balls and penis, but there's no need to pull back their foreskin. If it's warm enough, let your baby lie on the changing mat without a nappy on for a while. Wearing a nappy all the time makes nappy rash more likely. If you're using disposable nappies, take care not to get water or cream on the sticky tabs as they won't stick if you do.

    Adjust it to fit snugly round the waist and legs. Chat to your baby while you're changing them. Pulling faces, smiling and laughing with your baby will help you bond and help their development.

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  • Try not to show any disgust at what's in their nappy. You don't want your baby to learn that doing a poo is something unpleasant or negative.

    Nappy hygiene Disposable nappies can be rolled up and resealed, using the tabs. Put them in a plastic bag kept only for nappies, then tie it up and put it in an outside bin. Washable cloth nappies don't have to be soaked before they're washed, but you may choose to soak them to help get the stains off.

    Check the washing instructions first. Cloth nappies can be machine washed at 60C, or you could use a local nappy laundry service. Wash nappies that are dirty with poo separately from your other washing. You'll probably have enough nappies to make up a full load anyway. To avoid infection, wash your hands after changing a nappy before you do anything else.

    If your baby is old enough, they can wash their hands with you as it's a good habit to get into. What baby poo looks like Your baby's first poo is called meconium. This is sticky and greenish-black. Some babies may do this kind of poo during or after birth, or some time in the first 48 hours. After a few days the poo will change to a yellow or mustard colour. Breastfed babies' poo is runny and doesn't smell. Formula-fed babies' poo is firmer, darker brown and more smelly. Some infant formulas can also make your baby's poo dark green.

    If you change from breast to formula feeding, you'll find your baby's poos become darker and more paste-like. If you have a girl, you may see a white discharge on her nappy for a few days after birth. It's caused by hormones that have crossed the placenta to your baby, but these will soon disappear from her system. These hormones can occasionally cause slight bleeding like a mini period, but in both cases it's nothing to worry about.

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    How often should my baby do a poo? Babies do an average of four poos a day in the first week of life, and this goes down to an average of two a day by the time they are one year old. Formula-fed babies may poo up to five times a day when newborn, but after a few months this can go down to once a day.

    It's also normal for babies to strain or even cry when doing a poo. Your baby isn't constipated as long as their poos are soft, even if they haven't done one for a few days.

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  • Is it normal for my baby's poos to change? From day to day or week to week, your baby's poos will probably vary. If you notice a definite change of any kind, such as the poos becoming very smelly, very watery or harder — particularly if there's blood in them — you should talk to your doctor or health visitor. If your baby's poos look pale, this can be a sign of liver disease. Speak to your health visitor or GP if you notice this. Disposable and washable cloth reusable nappies Disposable and cloth nappies come in a range of shapes and sizes.

    The choice might be confusing at first, but with trial and error you will be able to work out which nappies suit your baby best as they grow. Disposable and cloth nappies have different pros and cons, so you will need to consider things like cost, convenience and the impact on the environment when you choose what to buy. For example, disposable nappies are very handy, but washable cloth nappies work out cheaper if you add up the costs over the years your baby is in nappies.

    Some cloth nappy brands and local councils offer free samples for you to try out.

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    If you use cloth nappies, you may want to sign up to a nappy laundry service that will take away the dirty nappies and deliver a fresh batch each week.

    First aid kit for babies More than 1 million children a year are involved in an accident in the home. Most aren't serious, but it's sensible to make sure your first aid box contains the essentials.

    Choose a waterproof, durable box that's easy to carry. It's much easier to take the box to the child than the child to the box. The box should have a childproof lock and be tall enough to carry bottles of lotion. Keep the box out of the reach of children, but handy for adults.

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    You don't want to be hunting for your first aid kit when a child is injured and frightened. If someone else is caring for your children, let them know where the kit is kept. First aid manual An easy-to-use guide can help refresh your memory when panic and a crying child make it hard to remember what to do.

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