Let me start by saying that I can draw upon a wealth of extremely personal experiences in regard to dealing with babies crying. New parents go through something others simply cannot understand until they have a child of their own. What I’ve learned is that there are definitely things you can do to relieve any stress you have that’s caused by your newborn’s lack of social etiquette. After doing an extensive amount of research, here are some of the best solutions that I have discovered…
1. If you hear your baby crying, don’t freak out.
This one is pretty simple, but it’s something that most new parents fail to do. One of my friends told me a story about how they used to start pacing endlessly in front of their baby when he cried, due to being frazzled and unsure of what to do next. Why is that the wrong thing to do? Well, for one, babies pick up on your stress level, and react appropriately. It’s similar to the advice dog trainers give to you for when you’re confronted by an aggressive dog: “don’t show it fear, as it will sense that you are vulnerable.”
So the best thing you can do in regard to baby-related stress is to calm yourself, as that will likely calm your baby. I know that’s easier said than done, so let’s discuss some of the techniques you can use to get yourself in the right frame of mind.
2. Control your breathing; meditate if you can.
By simply controlling your breathing (inhaling and exhaling in about five second intervals), you can control your heart rate, your blood pressure, and thus, your stress level. This will help you stay calm in an otherwise strenuous situation. Additionally, if you’re able to keep yourself level, there’s a chance that your baby will pick up on that and reciprocate.
3. Give yourself some time off.
Babies aren’t as fragile as you think they are. As long as you take all of the necessary precautions, they should be fine most of the time. Part of the reason why a baby’s crying is so stressful is because parents think they’re crying for a reason, e.g. they are in pain or need attention. This puts the parents on a positive feedback loop where they’re constantly checking in on the baby and becoming more and more stressed and frantic as time goes on.
The truth of the matter is that, if you don’t notice any sudden drastic changes in your baby’s behavior, he or she is likely fine. You don’t have to be by your baby’s side 24/7….you can take thirty minutes a day to go on a walk and collect your thoughts, or do something else that tends to your personal needs (during this time you can have your partner check in on the baby).
Remember, your baby feeds off of your emotional state, so taking a break benefits them just like it benefits you.
4. Remind yourself that your baby crying is not your fault.
The truth of the matter is that babies cry. A lot. And usually, there’s nothing you can really do about it besides staying cool and collected. Don’t blame yourself for your baby’s tears, as in most cases they’re completely unrelated to what you’re doing as a parent. Indeed, as research shows, many of the reasons for why babies cry are related to things that you can’t control most of the time. So, don’t beat yourself up about it!
5. Maintain an active support network.
When the going gets tough, it’s nice to have people you can call upon, either for advice or for a simple chat that can bring you back down to earth. This network can include your parents, friends, co-workers, husband/wife, or anyone really who can be a voice of reason during this stressful time in your life.
6. Remember that it’s all worth it in the end.
Sure, your baby is a bit loud and fussy now, but in just a few short years they’ll be a walking, talking, full-fledged member of your family! I would say that the end result is worth a few stress-filled nights at the beginning. And, best of all, you can remind your kids when they’re older of just how much they cried as babies (which will certainly garner a few eye-rolls when they’re going through that tough-guy/gal phase).
Are there any parents here who would like to share their baby stories, particularly in regard to how you dealt with the stress related to your baby crying? If so, please share in the comments below!
Featured photo credit: Cry Baby/ TheGiantVermin via flic.kr