5 Things to Try When Your Baby Cries
Ooooh Girl, let's talk about crying babies and what to do with them (and yourself!) when you can't figure out what to do.
Maybe you’ve been around lots of babies and you’re completely comfortable with your own, but maybe you’re not. Many women have babies and have no idea what to do with them when they cry, and that’s ok! You don’t have to know everything to be the best mom for your baby, Mama!
When it comes to crying babies, it takes some time and experience to know exactly what their cry means. As a mom of 4 kids, I’ve spent countless hours pacing the floor with a fussy baby because it’s normal for babies to cry.
Think about it this way: the only way your baby can communicate with you is by crying. In her eyes, there’s only ONE way to tell you soooo many things:
I’m tired – cry
I’m bored – cry
I’m hungry – cry
I’m hot – cry
See? It could go on and on! How’s a mom ever supposed to understand what her baby is trying to tell her? The truth is that it’s basically just guess-work; sometimes you’ll unravel the mystery of the crying baby and sometimes you won’t.
So, if you’re like A LOT of moms who get stressed out when the baby cries, I have four suggestions for you!
As soon as your feel your shoulders creeping up to your ears and your forehead starting to tense, you need to pay attention your breathing. It will help you focus on the control you have in a baby-crying situation (basically, it’s only your breathing since you can’t control a baby!). Did I mention that I’ve had 4 babies? I’m not gonna lie- I’ve had to lay every single one of them in their cribs to cry while I tried to get control of my frustrations. And it’s ok to do that! Your baby is safe in the crib and you need a couple of minutes to pull your shiz together, Girl! There's no shame in your mom-game if you take a couple of minutes for yourself to calmthehelldown!
You’ve Got to Move it, Move it!
That’s right- as soon as your baby starts fussing and you’re pretty sure she’s not hungry or poopy, stand up and move around. You can pace the floor, put on dance music and bust some moves or put the baby in a carrier and head out for a walk. The big takeway here? Babies like to move. Think about this: your baby spent almost 10 months bouncing around in your tummy so if she’s feeling stress or tired, movement is going to be familiar and comforting to her.
I’ve read The Happiest Baby on the Block. I know that babies hear whooshing in the womb and that helps mute the harsh sounds of life earthside. If your baby is really fussy and you know she’s tired, try shushing in her ear. Basically, you get close to her ear and whisper, “Ssssssssshhhhhhhhhh” as long as you can, over and over, while you rock her.
Food Feeds the Fussies
If the movement isn’t making her happy, it’s time to just feed her. If you’re breastfeeding, she may only need a few minutes to settle down or if she’s really hungry, it will be a longer feed. A lot of moms start to worry that their boobs are just pacifiers for their baby and guess what? Sometimes they will be. When you think about it, it's pretty amazing that your breasts have that kind of power!
If you're bottle feeding and she’s in between feedings, just try half of her usual amount of formula- she may just need to be topped-up. Don’t forget to burp her!
The Power of Touch
Sometimes, when a baby is just a little fussy, you can soothe her with some gentle touching. Have you seen that video of the woman using a Kleenex on the baby’s face to get her to sleep? Ya, I don’t really think it’s a magic cure for crying either. But you may find yourself desperate enough to try it! You can also stroke her face lightly, over and over. You can try warming up some coconut oil (in your hands) and giving her a baby massage. Some babies love to have their tummies rubbed. Whatever you find that works for your baby, do that!
Sometimes, you’ll never figure out why your baby is crying. Those are the hard times to get through because you’ll start to doubt yourself as a mama. But don’t let it get to you! Most babies have a “witching hour” and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it expect understand that this phase is going to pass eventually.
If you loved this post, head over to Mamasoup and check out the conversation about how to get baby back to sleep easily after night-feedings!
Joanne Ilaqua - CEO of MamaSoup
Hey there, I’m Joanne.
I’ve spent about 20 years serving women as a nurse, doula and Lamaze educator. I have 4 kids and I know firsthand how lonely and isolating motherhood can be, so I created MamaSoup. I'm mostly known for my love of red wine, spontaneously singing and my confidence in being my true self on social media. When I’m not busy building women up, you can catch me taking Instagram stories of my bulldog Ruby, watching The Handmaid’s Tale, playing MUber (Mom Uber) to my kids or vacationing in my favourite town: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
I love serving the world by providing a space for moms to connect and support each other. In my opinion, moms are the backbone of communities because they are (literally) raising the future!
As the founder and CEO of MamaSoup, I’ve been featured on CHEX TV Morning Show, KawarthaNOW, Economic Development- The City of Kawartha Lakes and MyKawartha.
Still with me? Join me over at MamaSoup to keep the conversation going!