New Parent Topic: Crying Babies

                Is your baby is a crier? Do you feel like all he ever does is eat and cry, and maybe sleep occasionally?  Is about now that you are thinking, “Was this what I signed up for when I said I wanted to be a mom?”  Are you to the point where you believe that life was better when the baby was in still in your stomach?  If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then please, read on. 
                First of all, I just want to acknowledge that there are TONS of parents in the world that have to deal with crying babies.  It’s not just you and me.  In saying that, everyone has a different tale of how they lived through it.  Everyone you talk to about this subject has a different suggestion for you to try.  I would just like to add mine to everyone else’s and you can take it or leave it.
 The reason why everyone has a different suggestion is because of this simple truth: every baby is different.  So, it’s just going to take a few weeks of one-on-one time for you and your baby to figure out what works to soothe them.  In the meantime, here are a few suggestions for you to try that worked for me and my baby.
Motion.  For some reason, my baby loved bouncing.  I would stand for hours with my baby in my arms lifting him up and down, up and down, over and over again.  If I would stop, he’d start crying again, so I’d go back to exercising my biceps by lifting him up and down, up and down.  After my arms would start to ache, I discovered that if brought him in close to my body, and kept doing the same motion by bending my knees that it would continue to soothe him.  So that became my life, deep knee bends.  You’d think that this would be similar to the motion of a swing… but not for my baby.  I hope for your arms and knees sake, that a swing will work to sooth your baby.  It’s worth a try.  If you end up doing physical movement like I had to, just tell yourself that you are doing exercise.  It probably didn’t help me lose weight, but I liked to tell myself that it did.
Other People.  The number one thing that my husband and I learned in the first few weeks of our baby’s life was that crying wears you out!  We would take turns trying to calm the baby down… but even when it wasn’t your turn, listening to the crying could be just ask taxing on you.  Luckily, we live close to our family members, and they proved to be a HUGE blessing.  Let someone else take a turn with the baby.  It gives you a chance to have a small break, so that you are ready refreshed and recharged for your shift with the baby again.  Oh and here’s a small tip when it comes to other people:  I have noticed that some people are more comfortable with a crying baby than others, and I believe that difference is whether or not they have their own children.  Someone who offers to help, but doesn’t have their own children yet might be not be the best candidate for taking a turn with the screaming child, because chances are, they are uncomfortable with it.  Those who do have their own children, or who have been around children a lot, are more accustomed to the fact that babies cry.  They will be the ones who are going to be a blessing as they take even just a few minutes with your baby so that you can relax for a minute, and rejuvenate your batteries.
The Crib.  One of the biggest lessons I learned during the first month of my baby’s life is that it’s okay to put him in the crib.  The crib is a safe place for your baby to be.  If you are sure your baby is not hungry, not tired, and has a clean diaper, and he’s still crying to the point where you might lose your nerve, then please, lay them in the crib.  I had to do this more than once, believe me.  The baby was crying so much that I didn’t know what else to do with him!  Rather than risk the chance of losing my temper, and doing something I’d regret, I learned to just put the baby in the crib, and shut the door.    
Shushing Noises.  One night our baby’s endless crying was just getting to be too much.  I could tell from the look on my husband’s face that he had had enough.  So, I took the baby into the bathroom and shut the door.  We live in such a small house, that this was the only place I could think to go so that my husband wouldn’t hear the crying any more.  In our bathroom the light switch is also the switch for the fan.  After being in the bathroom for just a few minutes, my baby started to calm down.  I was amazed to discover that it was the sound of the fan that was calming him.  Shushing noises can prove to be a blessing in calming babies down.  The sound of the clothes dryer, the hair dryer, the fan, the shower, the dishwasher… any of them could be a solution for you.  Also, the hum of the car can have the same effect!    Shushing noises can be a blessing.   
Singing.  As my baby got a little bit older, I discovered that my baby loved it when I sang to him.  Still to this day, he’ll stop and stare at me when I sing.  He loves it even more when I do hand actions with the song.   I can’t tell you how many times I have sang, “Popcorn Popping” since I had him.  Probably hundreds!
A Good Pediatrician.  One of the biggest blessings that got us through those hard first months was a good doctor.  He gave us suggestion after suggestion till we came up with one that worked.  For our baby, it was the medicine for Acid Reflux that did it.  Oh how that medicine blessed our lives! 
           So while everyone in the world will give you different advice with how to deal with a crying baby, those are my suggestions.  Each one blessed our lives and helped us get through.  My experience was that my baby cried for about the first four months or so.  It wasn’t till about 8 months that he could be happy without the medicine.  Now he is over a year old, and he’s quite a cheerful little boy.  So when you have those hard days with a screaming baby that make you feel like you are not sure you want to be a parent, just have hope.  Try to enjoy them while they’re little… because before you know it, they’ll be all grown up.
Best of luck to you and your baby.
Ashlee
13 Comments

13 Responses to New Parent Topic: Crying Babies

  1. jennie 08/10/2011 at 3:23 pm #

    thanks ash!! abbi cried alot during those first 6 weeks!! it is hard… but wonderful all at the same time!!

    love your suggestions!! and you!

  2. Emily 08/10/2011 at 7:55 pm #

    Great ideas Ash. I’m glad you shared them with everyone.

  3. Natalie 08/11/2011 at 2:25 pm #

    Oh Ash! So well put. You did such a great job handling your baby. He is lucky to have you! Thanks for the ideas.

  4. Angela B 08/11/2011 at 9:55 pm #

    My first was a crier too. I’m glad you put in the suggestion about a good pediatrician. When I talked to our pediatrician about all the crying, he offered very little support and made me feel like an unprepared mother that just couldn’t handle it. This really hurt my confidence as a mother and made it even harder to handle the situation.

    I would add 2 more suggestions. 1. A change of scenery! My son would hush right up if we went outside, and sometime that was the little break I needed. 2. A friend of mine introduced me to baby-wearing. Sometimes this really helped, other times it didn’t. But it can be very comforting for small babies especially and free up your hands!

  5. Stephanie 09/07/2011 at 11:12 am #

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Stephanie 09/07/2011 at 11:18 am #

    We just had our first child born in July & was recommended to check out from our library “The Happiest Baby on the Block” DVD. Dr. Karp has mastered the techniques of calming a fussy baby after the efforts of feeding/changing/burping don’t calm them down. Wish that I would have seen this before she was born & not 3 weeks after. For us this has seriously been golden & a HUGE lifesaver!! Our family has been happier after using the techniques Dr. Karp demonstrates. HIGHLY RECOMMEND WATCHING IT FOR YOUR SANITY!! The book is great b/c it goes into deeper detail about how your newborn needs a “4th Trimester” after they are born.

    Our little one prefers to be tightly swaddled & have a slight bouncy motion to calm down. Sometimes she needs a change of scenery as well

  7. Emily 10/03/2011 at 4:02 pm #

    My little girl cried for the first five months. It was awful (especially not knowing when it was going to end!). We’d watched “The Happiest Baby on the Block” and tried everything. She did like being swaddled but would escape from her swaddle and it quickly got too hot to keep her swaddled in the middle of the summer. The only thing that would get her to calm down was going outside. Oh and she never liked the swing either. I think in hindsight she had acid reflux.

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