In the first few months of life, you’re baby needs your help to calm down when they’re crying because they literally don’t know how to self calm yet. Their brains haven’t developed enough for them to regulate their own emotions and self-settle.
Cuddles, sucking, shh-ing and gentle rhythmic movements often help babies become calm.
What if they don’t stop?
If you baby doesn’t stop crying even though you’re trying everything to help, you can easily become anxious and feel helpless.
This is totally natural. You’re not failing or letting your baby down if you can’t calm them. Rather, it’s a time to make mature and responsible decisions, stay as calm as possible and take your baby for a drive, or put on some music you like, maybe unpack that baby sling and sway back and forth. Maybe have a bath with your baby or just offer some skin contact. The most important thing is that you don't panic - keep trying to help your baby calm.
Work with your partner
This is an ideal time to co-parent as well, so you can work together as a soothing team.
Frustration and anxiety can often affect communication between parents, leading to the inevitable snappy conversation. Once your baby is settled, quiet calm discussions about what ‘we can do next time’ will be incredibly helpful to promote co-parenting.
It’s all part of finding ways to work through parenting together.
If the unconstructive conversations and arguments begin to happen too often, there are many support options out there. The reason there are so many resources is because tension and strain on your relationship is quite normal in the early days. Parents can sometimes need direction to prevent the stress leading to an unproductive way of parenting.
If you'd like help or advice on baby crying, parenting with your partner, or if you'd simply like to chat with one of our experts and ask some questions, book a phone consultation or get in touch online.
Author: Helen Stevens. RN. RM. MCHN. Manager of Clinical Services, Education and Research. Parent Infant Consultants. 0411880720.