Here are a few tips to help parents in keeping calm when your baby cries uncontrollably for hours on end.
Any parent, whether old or young, will have a horror story of a screaming baby at some ungodly hour of the night, with only two hours of sleep, perhaps add some throw up in there, a dirty diaper or two, and an angry neighbor. We’ve all been there.
Every baby cries. That’s how they communicate, but sometimes it’s just too much to handle. It often happens that parents have little or no idea why their baby is upset, and so have no idea how to stop the crying. It can be unnerving, to say the least, when the crying continues for hours on end, and you start to lose your cool with your little one. The last thing any parent wants is to harm their child, but in these hellish moments, some parents find it difficult to stay calm. Here are a few tips for keeping yourself calm while you soothe your baby.
Steady breathing keeps you calm.
Keeping your breathing steady and even by inhaling deeply and slowly exhaling will keep you calmer longer. Deep breathing allows more oxygen to the brain and helps maintain an even heart rate. This, in turn, allows you to think better and remain calm under pressure, even at 3 am. Steady breathing is a great way to keep calm when your baby cries.
Singing will soothe you and your baby.
Music is wondrous. Often a good tune will help to calm your little one as well as yourself. But even if it does nothing to soothe your baby, singing or humming will help you to focus on something other than the screaming. The impact of music on the body subtly alters our moods and many of our body functions-particularly blood pressure, pulse and body temperature. It doesn’t have to be a lullaby, in tune, or even the correct lyrics; just sing something that will help you relax.
Look at and touch your baby.
Instead of keeping your baby propped up against your shoulder all the time, you should adjust her position so you can see her. Even if the lights are turned off, you should look into your baby’s face. Yes, it might be screwed up in a cry, but those are your eyes and nose, or your partner’s mouth and chin. Looking at your baby will help remind you of how much you love your little one and so help keep you calm.
You should also caress your baby’s head every so often. You know how delicate your baby’s head is, and it is difficult to be gentle when your temper is flared. Constantly caressing her will help you stay calm and might also soothe her too.
Take turns with your partner to comfort your crying baby.
Your partner can help you keep calm when your baby cries. Take turns soothing your baby. If you feel like you’re wearing down, ask your partner to step in so that you can wind down. Often when one parent starts getting frustrated, the other is not only calm enough to take over but might also have a new soothing technique to try. Also, seeing your partner keep a cool head with your crying baby can help you calm down too.
Take a 10-minute break if the baby cries incessantly.
If there’s no one else around to give you a break or if both parents have reached a breaking point, it is okay to put your baby down in his crib. He’s going to cry whether you hold him or not, and it’s better to put him in a safe place than to hold on to him if you’re not in control of yourself. Give yourself 10 minutes to do whatever it is you need to do. Get a glass of water, lie down, or listen to some good music, then go back and try again. Repeat as many times as necessary.
The most important thing to remember during those late-night struggles is how much you love your baby. Screaming or yelling back does nothing but make you and your baby more frustrated. Babies are very attentive to emotions, even newborns, and can tell when you are not relaxed. So even if your little one is crying to the point of throwing up, the best thing you can do to help your baby calm down is to stay calm yourself.