Thursday, June 23, 2005

When Baby Cries, and Cries, and Cries

By Christina VanGinkel

With a new baby in the house, finding time for you can sometimes be difficult. Normal tasks such as eating, sleeping, showering, or talking on the phone suddenly take on completely new dimensions. Going out to eat or taking in a last minute movie can even seem an impossible task. It does not have to be this way though. While there will be days that no matter what you do, you will be lucky to even make it out of your pajamas, other days will flow as if your life always had this wonderful little person in it.

If you have a support system of family and friends, take advantage of any offerings of help they give. If you are not in a situation where it seems that you can rely on others, take each day as it comes and keep one central thought in mind. Your baby requires three main things; food, love, and care. If you are providing these, your baby is healthy, and your baby is still crying for example, try to take it in stride. Babies will cry, and if you have fed, rocked, checked for a dirty diaper, burped, etc., and the baby is still crying, maybe it is because they just need to cry. If you are unsure about a baby that cries often, definitely check with your family doctor or pediatrician to make sure there are no underlying reasons for baby's tears, but then try to accept the fact that some babies cry just to cry. Too often, I have heard a young mother make a statement that they just did not know what to do, that their baby cries and cries, even when everything is seemingly fine. Chances are the baby is fine. Babies will cry for various unsolved reasons. So what is a mother to do?

Try to find some other mothers of infants close in age to your own, someone who you can commiserate with when all else fails. If the weather permits, head outside. A baby's cries never seem as loud when you are in a wide-open space. Rock or walk with them. If a stroller seems to calm them, use it indoors too. My youngest son spent a large amount of time in his stroller, inside the house. It was one thing that calmed him, and my daughter would push him up and down our small hallway, or I would sit in the rocker and as I rocked, push the stroller back and forth. I have heard of some parents who even bring the car seat in from the vehicle because that is the one place they can get their infant to sleep the best. If you find a method that works, and its safe, use it! If you absolutely need a break, check that all is well, feed them, make sure their diaper is dry, burped, etc., and then settle them down wherever they sleep best, and you go in the next room. You will still hear them cry, but just a room away will muffle the sound a bit. If your husband or other adult is available, hand the infant over and take a break away from baby completely. Ten minutes is longer then you think when it is spent in quiet.

Remind yourself also, that your infant will soon grow out of this stage. Some babies are criers longer than others are, but they do all grow out of it. Best of luck!

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