Sometimes we cry just because we can’t seem to stop our baby from crying. We feel helpless. We don’t know what to do. If it is during the day, we want our baby to sleep. If it is at night, we want to sleep too. While this is the natural reaction of a loving adult that wants to calm a little one, please don’t cry.
Get to know your baby.
Many children develop predictable crying patterns. While some very young children can go through a phase known as PURPLE crying which is an unexplained and distressing crying period that children do grow out of (www.purplecrying.info), most infants respond to safe and loving caregivers. Don’t forget – Infants have just entered this big world after life in a warm, dark, tight womb! Imagine the shock they are going through!
Swaddle your infant.
Wrap your baby in a clean, soft, cozy blanket – a large, thin receiving blanket instead of a heavy, fuzzy one. Lay your infant in the center of the blanket and tuck the sides and bottom together. (They will look like a little ice cream come). Keep airways open at all times. This will help make your baby feel warm and secure. Hold your baby in your arms while you sit or when you stand. Always keep your baby secure. Lay your baby down on her back to sleep at all times. (www.nichd.nih.gov/sids)
Sway with your infant.
Babies have gotten used to movement and motion while developing. Rock in a rocking chair or stand and sway with baby in your arms. When you hold your infant up to your shoulder and they snuggle into your neck, they are comforted by the motion and scent of your skin. Car rides, buggies, infant swings, baby carriers and “papoose packs” can have calming effects on a fussy baby. Swaying while holding your baby is a comfort to their digestive system as well as soothing for sleep.
Sing to your baby.
She thinks you have the most beautiful voice in the world, simply because it is yours. Soft melodies, repeated sounds (tick-tock), white noise (fan or dishwasher) and simple songs truly make a difference. Read and tell stories to your baby at the earliest age. Include a music box in the nursery. Babies quickly respond to your voice and he will look directly at you. Smile at your baby and hold eye contact with him while you sing and talk in loving tones. This reinforces critical development of social skills and emotional milestones.
So, please don’t cry. Babies will find their way and so will you.
If your body is calm theirs will be too. If you look in their eyes and smile, they will learn to look into your eyes and smile. A new baby is a mix of joy and apprehension to all adults that love them. Time is the great equalizer – give yourself time to learn to about your baby and you. Your baby is counting on it.
“Hush, little baby, don’t say a word.
Mama’s gonna buy you a mockingbird…”
classic Southern lullaby
-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director