It is something you will not be able to escape: babies cry. They often do a lot of it. The most frustrating aspect is that there may be no apparent reason. They simply can’t tell you what’s wrong.
It is hard, but we have to put ourselves in their…well not shoes, per se, but think of how they see things. They start out completely helpless and have to rely on someone else to meet even their most basic needs. That would make me grumpy too!
That being said, there are appropriate ways to deal with crying and inappropriate ones. Here are some suggestions that I have found helpful:
- Meet the basic three: Are the hungry, tired, or need to be changed? Many times, fussiness comes down to one of the basic three. Try those avenues first before trying other things.
- Find out what soothes them: Many babies like to be rocked or cuddled, but each baby has a preferred way. You can do this in your arms, a baby swing, on a blanket. Experiment with different things like gently rubbing the baby’s back or having the baby lie on your shoulder.
- If you feel yourself reaching the breaking point, take a short break. Either switch off who is caring for the baby, or if you are alone, place the baby in a safe environment, such as his crib and step outside for a second. Listen to a song that calms you down, say a prayer, take deep breaths, whatever helps you. If you don’t do something to deescalate your frustration, it can lead to less rational actions that you might regret.
- Be on the lookout for patterns and problems. What are the baby’s triggers? Is the baby spitting up more than usual? Does he have a rash or other strange marks on his skin? You may need to consult a pediatrician or change a baby’s diet, as he may be having an allergic reaction.
- Never throw or shake your baby. This can cause terrible damage as babies are fragile.
There are many ways to calm babies, and here are some suggestions.
Good luck! It does get better and it is worth it.