I had my first child when I was only 18 years old and as much as I wanted to be a mommy. let me tell you it was nothing like I expected!! I had a fussy baby with colic and it was no picnic!! I remember thinking “Where does the term sleeping like a baby come from because I sure ain’t experiencing that”!! It was awful and my heart goes out to anyone that has to endure those 3 hour nightly crying spells! The good news here is that it does eventually stop…well, mostly…my daughter is now 30 and she does still cry easily! (that’s okay though, because she is a beautiful, sensitive, caring young lady!!) All kidding aside, almost all babies will have one “fussy” or crying period of about 15 to 60 minutes, usually in the evening. It will take some trial and error to see what comforts your baby because even though all babies cry, temperaments differ. The amount of crying usually decreases at around four months, when your baby becomes more socially interactive and is more easily soothed.
Tips And Techniques For Comforting Your Crying Baby:
1. Massage your baby’s back or tummy, or stroke her lightly and pat her back.
2. Simulate rhythmic sounds and movement that imitate the baby’s experience in the womb – for example, softly humming with the baby in a carrier.
3. Offer the breast or bottle. Some babies are soothed by sucking even if they are not hungry.
4. Movement such as rocking, riding in a car, swinging, and walking are some of the best baby soothers.
5. Sounds such as gentle singing, soft music, or other “white noise” such as a dishwasher, vacuum, washing machine or humidifier can help lull a baby.
6. Babies may need to feel the comfort of being swaddled snugly in a blanket or put in a baby carrier.
7. Check to see if something in the baby’s diet is irritating. What mom eats affects the breast milk and can disagree with your baby.
8. Less stimulation. If a baby is over stimulated by too much handling and interaction with too many people, she may need quiet time in a calm environment.
9. Skin-to-skin contact and warmth are very soothing. Rub her with a warm hand, or hold her against your bare chest while feeding her.
10. Try combining some of these techniques together like singing as you rock your baby.
*The most important thing to remember is that this time, even though it is difficult, will pass!
For more information on this subject check out “How To Survive Baby Boot Camp” at Focus on the Family.
*Ideas for this post were taken from the book “How to Achieve Joyful and Confident Parenting” by Penny Shore.