Crying is a normal part of your baby’s development. This is the way your baby communicates. It is important to respond quickly and consistently when your baby cries. There are different things you can do to help settle your baby down. Things such as feeding, cuddling, sleeping, or changing a diaper can settle your baby. However, not every baby settles down so easily. This can become very stressful for parents or caregivers.
Every baby is different. Some will cry more easily and often than others, and some babies are much more difficult to console. As a parent, after you have eliminated all possible reasons that your baby is crying, sometimes we just do not know why they are crying. Typically, babies cry to release tension and then tend to fall asleep. Once they wake up they are ready for more interaction within their environment.
However, not all babies are “typical”. After all the soothing you do, your baby still cries. You may feel that your baby is crying just to annoy you. Remember, your baby will not cry to upset you! Once your baby learns new ways to communicate with you (smiling, different sounds, funny faces) he will tend to cry less.
How to Encourage Contentment:
- Spend lots of time with your baby when he is calm. This will teach him that he will get attention from you when he is calm.
- Give your baby something to do. When your baby is calm, give her something to look at or touch.
- Carry your baby. This is very important within the first 3 months. This can help to prevent crying episodes.
How to manage the crying:
- React quickly when your baby cries
- Try to find the reason your baby is crying (hungry, tired, wet…)
- Make sure your baby is comfortable
- Relax your baby.
o Hold your baby upright and close to your body
o Kiss, touch and snuggle your baby
o Talk, sing or hum to your baby
o Dim the lights in the room
o Rock your baby
o Go for a car or stroller ride
What to do if the crying persists:
- Put your baby in a safe space. Ideally the crib. Darken the room and make things quiet. Leave your baby for about 3-5 minutes. Check in periodically. If your baby is starting to fall asleep, let them sleep. If your bay has settled but is still awake, then you can encourage contentment. If your baby is still crying after 5 minutes, then calmly walk out of the room. If your baby is still very upset after 15 minutes, try once again to comfort your baby. If you have that urge to just hold your baby, then hold and snuggle your baby.
- Take care of yourself. If you have done your very best at trying to calm your little one down, there is nothing more to do except stay calm yourself. Once your crying baby is in a safe place, or with another adult try to self-relax.
o Take some deep breaths
o Have a cup of coffee or tea
o Play some music
o Get some fresh air
o Call a friend
o Have a shower
If the problem is still existing or beyond overwhelming seek further help. Get help from your partner, family and friends. Make time for yourself and do something you enjoy. It is absolutely OK to leave your little one with someone you trust for a while so you as a parent can take a breather. If you think there might be medical problems, talk with your doctor.