Maintaining composure with a crying infant is more challenging than expressing it verbally. Anxiety and feelings intensify throughout the initial days, weeks, and months.
It can be overwhelming when you feel the need to comfort your little one but are unable to do so. However, it is crucial to prioritize self-care during these difficult times. Calm parents can contribute to having a calm baby.
Babies crying is a normal behavior and there are various reasons behind their crying. To acquire further information, kindly watch our video.
To keep your tension levels down and navigate through both their tears and yours, you can try the following steps progressively.
1. Take a break
Ask for help. From your partner, your family or a close friend. A support network is vital in those early days and people will love to come over to help. They are often itching for you to reach out and invite them for baby cuddles.
If you are alone without a partner or nearby friends and family, consider focusing on taking care of your own needs while your baby is sleeping or calm. This way you can also refresh and rejuvenate yourself.
2. Step away from the baby
If you find yourself unable to calm their cries and notice that you are becoming more and more upset or agitated, it is important to take a break. Place your baby in a safe place, like their crib, pram, or floor mat (if they have not started rolling yet), and take some time for yourself. Sit down, make a cup of tea, or reach out to someone for support.
Crying for just a few minutes like this, a baby won’t be harmed; instead, it can aid in resetting yourself for a more responsive approach to meeting their needs.
3. Think back to birth breathing
You may have acquired knowledge of breathing techniques as part of birth preparations, and these techniques can also be employed after your baby’s birth.
Either take a brief break from the baby and engage in deep breathing for a few minutes, or practice deep breathing while holding your baby. Recall a pregnancy yoga class or a soothing song or moment that you enjoy, and take deep and rhythmic breaths. The strong bond between you and your baby might likely result in them also feeling calmer.
4. Keep your emotional strength up
When you lack sleep, feel hungry, or experience isolation, it becomes more challenging to handle your baby’s crying. To enhance your resilience, aim to take afternoon naps when feasible and maintain a healthy diet. By enhancing your emotional wellbeing, you can improve your ability to handle your baby’s tears and meet their needs effectively.
5. Don’t hide away
Despite the fact that some parents are hesitant to go out when their baby cries frequently, it is important to consider that exposing both you and your baby to fresh air and social interactions can provide a wonderful break.
You will find that your friends, family, or other parents you encounter are likely to grasp the situation, as they have experienced it themselves. Additionally, you will come across plenty of baby-friendly parks, cafes, and play areas where crying babies are common rather than unusual.
6. Attend to their needs, wherever you are
Don’t be afraid to stop, wherever you are, and attend to your baby. Perfect strangers can often turn into best friends during your time of need and offer to help in the most wonderful of ways.
Currently, parents all across the nation are tending to their babies by feeding, burping, and changing them in various locations such as car parks, car trunks, side streets, restaurants, and many other spots. Frequently, parents inform us that individuals are generally accepting and supportive of pacifying a crying baby no matter the time or location.
7. A new normal
With the passing of time, your baby’s crying frequency will decrease as you become better at understanding their needs. You will also gain knowledge about their usual behavior and when to be worried. It is reassuring to know that similar to other stages, this crying phase is temporary and will eventually come to an end.
8. Your network is broader than you think
New parents have access to various resources that may not be immediately apparent. In addition to relying on friends and family, it is important not to hesitate in reaching out to your health provider or GP. This is particularly important if you feel overwhelmed by frustration and fear that it may pose a risk to your baby’s well-being.
In cases where parents are unable to manage a crying baby and resort to shaking, throwing, or handling them roughly, serious consequences such as death or long-term disability may occur.
How to relieve your baby’s crying
Here are the steps to attempt if you have a baby who cannot be comforted.
Feed your baby
To approach this situation, it is advisable to be slightly proactive. When your baby begins to cry, it is likely that you instinctively attempted this method initially, although it may not have produced the anticipated outcome. When you offer the breast or bottle after crying, it occasionally leads to intense and disordered sucking.
To detect whether your little one is starting to feel hungry, observe signs such as them sucking on their hands or searching eagerly for the nipple. In order to avoid inconsolable crying and the subsequent distressed and unproductive feeding session, it is wise to provide the breast or bottle to them while they are still in a calm state.
Identify your baby’s cries
It is generally understood that pain is indicated by a sudden, long, high-pitched shriek, whereas hunger is suggested by a short, low-pitched cry that rises and falls. However, it is not possible to assign the same meaning to a specific cry for all babies.
The way babies cry varies from individual to individual and is closely linked to their temperament. If your first child was very relaxed, but your new baby is not, you might question if there is something wrong with them.
It is likely that there is nothing amiss. Certain infants simply possess a heightened sensitivity, resulting in a more intense display of crying.
By observing and listening to your infant on a daily basis, you will gradually become able to recognize the distinct sounds of their cries. If your baby cries out loudly when they are hungry, pay attention to that particular cry and how it is distinguishable from other cries.
If you pay close attention to those cries and focus on them, you and your baby will gradually create your own language, similar to learning a new foreign language.
Notice your baby’s ‘tells’
By carefully considering each step, it is possible to rephrase the text while retaining the same meaning. It is important not to introduce new information or remove any existing information. Identifying additional, more nuanced cues can provide insight into your baby’s needs, which can help avert episodes of crying.
Some actions are easily identifiable, such as individuals rubbing their eyes or yawning to indicate fatigue.
To detect other signs of a baby being overstimulated, pay attention to subtle behaviors like turning away their eyes. Keep a close eye on your baby’s body language, positions, facial expressions, and vocal sounds (such as whimpering) throughout different times of the day in order to understand these signals.
Every baby is unique, so it doesn’t follow that if your first baby sucked on their hand when they were hungry, your second baby will do the same.
Put yourself in their place
If your baby’s cry or signals do not provide any indication of what is bothering them, consider imagining what might bother you if you were in their position. Are there any issues with the volume of the TV? Is the brightness of the overhead light too intense? Would you possibly feel bored? Once you have determined the potential reasons, proceed to take the necessary course of action.
If you think your baby might be bored, you can change things up by carrying them in a front-facing carrier or taking them outside in a stroller to offer them a different view.
To recreate the shushing your newborn heard in the womb and mask ambient sounds in the household, you can provide calming white noise by turning on a fan or the clothes dryer.
Consider other relief strategies
If the reason for crying is still unknown, attempt:
- rocking baby in a chair or in your arms (rapid tiny movements generally are best for calming)
- swaddling your baby (ask your pediatrician or nurse how)
- placing them in a windup swing
- giving them a warm bath
- singing to them
If you suspect that your baby may be experiencing pain, make sure to examine their hands, feet, and genitalia for a hair tourniquet, which is when a hair is tightly wrapped around a finger, toe, or penis. This can potentially cause your baby considerable discomfort.
Do one thing at a time
Parents will often quickly pile one strategy upon another, in quick succession, in order to stop the crying right away.
Parents frequently engage in multiple activities simultaneously such as holding, bouncing, shushing, singing, patting, and changing positions when taking care of their baby. In addition, they also attempt to change the diaper, feed, and then hand off the baby to the other parent for their turn, often accomplishing all of this within a short span of time. Unfortunately, the consequence of these actions is that it results in overstimulation for the baby.
Break down the process into individual actions of rocking, patting, and singing. Focus on each action separately for approximately 5 minutes to determine if it helps your baby calm down. If not, proceed to attempt another method of relief.
Address the colic
If your doctor confirms that your baby has colic, you should remember that it is completely unrelated to your parenting abilities.
To help alleviate crying, consider using a particular infant massage technique that is designed for babies experiencing colic. This technique aids in calming, facilitating sleep, and promoting digestion, while also fostering a close connection between you and your baby.
If you need to learn how to help your colicky baby, there are videos on YouTube that demonstrate on-the-spot colic massages. Alternatively, you can find an instructor in infant massage who can teach you.