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Dealing with All that Crying

Imagine yourself happily sleeping in a comfy chair on the beach while you calmly listen to the sound of the ocean. You are all alone and no one can bother you. When you’re hungry or thirsty, food is magically available with no need to wait. Ahh… It’s your happy place. You’re warm and comfortable.

Now, imagine a spaceship coming out of the sky and sucking you up into the UFO. You’re suddenly being poked and prodded by strange creatures you’ve never seen before. You’re cold. Where’s the peaceful ocean sound? You’re hungry but no one understand your pleas for food. Do you think you would cry out for your happy place? I know I would!

I know is may sound really weird, but when my kids are crying, I try to imagine being them. Putting myself in their position helps me stay patient and focused on helping them.

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BABY CRIES

Babies cry, some more than others. The whole spaceship thing is obviously far-fetched, but when you really think about it, it has to feel pretty similar to what they are going through. Sympathizing with a baby really isn’t hard unless you haven’t prepared yourself for the amount of crying you will hear in their first year of life. Everything is different for them outside the womb, and it is our job to help them adjust to their new life. Babies are completely incapable of caring for themselves and crying is their only way to communicate what they want or need.

Hungry…

I am super cranky when I am hungry, so it is no surprise to me that babies cry when they want to eat. If your baby is crying but it isn’t time to eat according to your strict schedule, imagine if we didn’t have the ability to snack between meals. What if we could only eat at certain times during the day? We often forget that babies are humans like us and don’t always operate like robots. I promise you, it’s ok if your baby veers off the schedule once in a while.

Dirty Diaper…

This really needs no explanation. Would you like to sit in your own poop? I think not!

Tired…

I have honestly cried about this numerous times… as an adult! I remember bringing my second baby home from the hospital and just wanting to take a nap after being up with him all night. My toddler wouldn’t stop asking me questions, and my husband was doing yard work. I started crying because I wanted to sleep so badly but I couldn’t get the quiet or comfort I needed. I get it, baby, I get it.

Overstimulated…

When my baby cries from being overstimulated, I’ve found he often just needs me to rock him tightly in a dark room with the white noise machine drowning everything out. We’ve all reached our breaking point, and I get the need to reset your system. 

Don’t feel well…

Babies get some of the same ailments that bother us as adults. Life would be much easier if your baby could look at you and say, “Hey Mom, I’ve got some gas pains going on right now. Can you please get me some of those Mylecon drops?” Well, they can’t, so it is our job to decipher what is wrong and get them the help they need.

But my baby has colic! I may not be right, but I just don’t fully buy the whole colic thing. I personally think it often means the baby is suffering from acid reflux, even if your baby doesn’t spit up much. I suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD,  so I know all too well how much it hurts. The more you stress about it, the worse it gets. It can even feel like you are having a heart attach sometimes! Acid reflux seems to be very common in little babies because their esophageal sphincter often isn’t fully mature. All three of my boys had GERD and were put on prescription medications to help them. If you think your baby has colic, make an appointment with your pediatrician and just talk about the possibility of GERD. 

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Teething…

This is a tough one. Cutting teeth often takes MONTHS. They seem to be ready to cut through and then they are gone the next day. Babies will rub their ears and scream in pain when they are teething. Offer plenty of teething toys and even massage their gums with a wet washcloth. Chat with your pediatrican about giving Tylenol or Motrin to help with the pain. There is no way around teething, so try to help them feel as comfortable as possible.

Figuring it all out…

We all come to a point where the crying gets to be too much. You’ve just fed the baby, they have a clean diaper, and you’ve tried just about everything else. It is completely OK to put the baby down safely in their crib and give yourself a break. Shut the door, take a deep breath, and get yourself together before going back in to your baby. We all know it is never ok to shake the baby. Don’t feel ashamed to call for help if you’ve reached your breaking point. If I got a call from a friend, I’d be over there in a heartbeat.

If you’re looking to read up more on this topic, I recommend the Happiest Baby on the Block. My husband and I purchased this DVD when our first son was 10 days old. It gave us a lot of useful tips on soothing him and understanding ways to comfort him.

Happiest Baby: Learn to calm crying fast…help your baby sleep longer! (DVD)


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EVERYONE CRIES

Babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and even moms cry. You’re job isn’t to just get the crying to stop, but to be your kids’ source of comfort and help them understand all of their emotions. When you put yourself in your child’s shoes, you are better equipped to deal with all that crying.

 

 

 

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