We’ve all been there with our babies. No matter what you do, your baby just keeps crying and crying. You’ve fed and burped him. His diaper is clean and dry. You’ve rocked him and given him a pacifier. But no matter what you do, he just keeps continuously crying. It’s driving you nuts!
Remember, some babies just cry for reasons we don’t understand. If you feel as though you are regularly patting, rocking, and soothing your crying baby, you aren’t alone. It’s also perfectly normal to feel stressed out over a crying baby. That’s because our brains are wired a certain way. When we hear our babies cry we immediately feel a sense of urgency. We want to do everything that we can to make our child quiet and happy. But what happens when your baby just won’t stop?
As our baby cries and cries, the “thinking” part of our brains can shut down. This can affect our ability to be rational and calm. We start feeling out of control and panicked as the baby continues to cry. It gets harder and harder to calm down and control ourselves.
What happens next is this- our child tunes into our reactions and feelings. A baby can tell when their caregiver is upset and stressed, and this can cause them to cry even more. We tense up and show the stress on our faces. This adds to the stress the baby is feeling.
If your baby is still crying no matter what you do, recognize if you are the problem. Stop and access how you are feeling. Are you mad, frustrated, sad, or shaking? If you are feeling anything but calm, here are some coping strategies that could help:
Take a break. It’s okay to put your child down in a crib or playpen and walk away for a minute. Your baby will be okay as he continues to cry, as long as you have put him somewhere safe. Take a drink, stretch, call a friend, and try to relax. Once you feel calmer, you’ll be able to take care of your baby and his needs.
Take deep breaths when you feel stressed from the crying. Your breath may become shallower as you feel more and more stressed. Calming down and changing how you breathe can make you feel safer and calmer. Deep breathing exercises send messages straight to your nervous system that says you are safe. Count to ten while you regulate your breathing.
Make sure that you are getting enough sleep. Yes, sleep is hard with a baby, especially a newborn. But even one night of good sleep can make you feel calmer and more relaxed. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, ask for help. You and your baby deserve it.
It’s important to remember that babies often cry for no reason. They may just be fussy for reasons we will never know. Take breaks as often as you can, calm down, and ask for help. Don’t let the crying upset you any more than it should.