Updated: Jun 19, 2020
We have all been there , the baby has be fed, burped, changed ,and rocked and he's crying ! You have checked for a fever, is he too hot , too cold, are his clothes to tight, is he gassy, or teething. You have now thought of everything and tried everything and he will NOT STOP ! You are now just about done ! By now you might be crying too. It is perfectly normal to feel stressed when your baby is uncontrollably crying. You haven't done anything wrong and it doesn't mean your baby doesn't like you. Lots of parents find themselves trying to sooth a very fussy baby in those early months, you are not alone. Some babies just seem to cry more than others for reasons we may never fully understand.
A crying baby can unsettle even the calmest parent, it's the natural way our brains are wired. There is this absolute sense of urgency, like a alarm that goes off inside that drives us to respond to our babies needs. But when the baby continues to cry despite our efforts, the thinking part of our brain can shut down, affecting our ability to be calm and think rationally. You might feel out of control and your reactions may be panicked. It might be difficult to regulate your feelings and calm yourself down. Our babies are very "in tune" to our emotional state. So when the baby needs you to be at your calmest to calm them down you might be stressed, wound up , your shoulders and arms tense and your face tight.
Calming yourself is job number one! Take a moment to acknowledge how you are feeling and then put baby in a safe place (crib) shut the door and take a break !! You are probably going to feel terrible , but it is OK ! I have heard many pediatricians say crying doesn't hurt your baby, and remember this is for the well being of both of you. Call a friend, grab a snack, step outside, get coffee or water ect. Find a comfy spot and sit with eyes closed and take deep even breaths. Most people tend to breath shallowly when stressed, so changing that breathing rhythm sends a message to your nervous system that you are safe, which helps your body regulate. Try counting to 10 and putting you hand on your stomach to make sure the breathing is deep enough.
Now that you are calm you may have found that your baby has calmed down on their own and is now quiet. In time you will come to know the different cries of your baby and know how to react to each one, also as they develop, learning how to self sooth is a great technique that helps with the excess crying . You can now care for, cuddle and calm your baby with confidence ,because now you have a new set of tools to use to keep yourself calm when things get stressful.
Studies have shown that parents who have babies that cry a lot also tend to be exhausted and one or two good nights sleep may not fix that. If you are feeling overwhelmed or sad , you can talk to you or your baby's health care provider. New parents need and deserve support. You and your baby are worth it ! And remember your baby loves and depends on you, and there is nothing wrong with asking for help or just have someone to listen.
Below are my personal favorites for calming a crying baby. I love the rocking technique and used the smooth touches around the face and head with all my kids ,grands and daycare children. It works ! Also love any white noise machine, love the app on my phone and tablet. Its a lifesaver !