I was in the store the other day and I watched as a pretty frazzled mom tried to throw as much in her cart as quickly as possible while soothing a screaming infant in a carrier.
It was that cry that parents remember-the one that never stops. At least, you think it’s never going to stop at the time. You may soothe, or swaddle or change, or feed or burp or dance around. It won’t matter, that baby is going to scream until it’s darn good and ready to stop. There ain’t nothing you can do about it.
I remember with my first this was the cry that literally made my skin itch. I would be so uncomfortable with that sound and my inability to stop it that I thought I’d never survive. Then I was told that when babies are very small they cry for everything, including exercise. I know that sounds strange, but it was comforting to me at the time. Just knowing my baby was literally, blowing off steam was enough to help me relax for the duration of the endless cry sessions. Once I knew there was such a thing as crying for crying’s sake, I could hear the difference and thus stopped freaking out (mostly).
Soon enough I could identify all the cries:hungry, wet, tired or overstimulated and just plain pissed. I still didn’t like the sound of any of them, but at least I stopped having mild panic attacks every time she opened her mouth.
So if you’re reading this and you’re still new at this, never fear, the crying will stop. It will get easier for you to identify and manage. And it really won’t last for the rest of their life (although you may wonder sometimes…). If you’ve been through the crying phase already, here’s to you and all that you did to help you both survive it.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.