How to respond to your crying baby
The first time I heard my baby cry was also the first moment it really hit me that I had just become a mother. I had waited for that moment for so long. To hear that cry that assured me our baby had officially entered the world.
As a mother, that sound is forever tied to an internal instinct and I will always have that initial connection and the memory of my child’s first cry.
But honestly, I can’t say that I had that same warm and fuzzy feeling to follow each time my baby cried thereafter, and I know I’m not alone.
For the first few months I found it really difficult to listen to the constant crying. The once, sweet little lamb cry had turned into a louder and less cute version.
My motherhood hormone was trigged over and over again at any peep that even resembled crying, and I felt the need to immediately stop it and “fix” any problem that was causing it. This became exhausting and frustrating.
But I eventually came to learn that I couldn’t control it. It wasn’t a reflection of the way I was or wasn’t parenting, but simply the way babies communicate.
They cry when you feed them, and they cry when you don’t.
They cry when you soothe them and when you don’t.
They cry when you hold them and when they are alone in their crib.
Babies cry…a lot. And despite my very nurturing and loving attempts to stop my baby from crying, he still cried often.
It wasn’t until I was able to shift my mind-set and the negative self-talk that I got through the crying phase and learned how to respond appropriately.
The thing is, not all crying is “bad” and it doesn’t necessarily need to be stopped. In fact, sometimes it is exactly what your baby needs in that moment.
Many of us respond by going through the list; diaper change, feed, burp, rock, etc. and when nothing seems to “work” we feel defeated because we don’t know what is wrong with our baby. We feel that we are failing because we can’t solve the puzzle and feelings of doubt start to creep in.
But the thing is, by responding to your baby, you are already giving her exactly what she needs.
As caregivers, we want to do just that, care for our children. It is our job to make sure they are safe and healthy. But nobody ever deemed us wizards or baby whisperers.
Sometimes we don’t have the answers and that’s ok!
Sometimes we will do everything we can and our babies are still upset, and that’s ok.
Sometimes we need to walk away and collect ourselves, and that’s ok.
There isn’t a perfect response to your baby’s cries and you are doing more than you give yourself credit for.
This phase will end and soon your child will be able to communicate what he needs, and the crying will turn to whining, and the whining to mature conversation.
You might even look back and miss those moments that you had a crying baby in your arms (or maybe not 😊)