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How do you feel when you see a baby crying?
Worse yet, how do you feel when it’s your baby crying uncontrollably in public? Frustrated? Embarrassed?
The anxiety that a crying baby raises in a parent is the same the world over. For some people, however, the experience is magnified and almost unbearable to the point that they never go anywhere with their babies for fear of public crying.
As your child screams through what was intended to be a pleasant outing, a quick store run, dinner, or even an airplane or bus ride, try not to focus so much on what other people are thinking but rather focus on finding a solution.
Managing the Moment
#1. Respond, don’t ignore.
When trapped in a moment you’d rather not be in, it is natural to freeze. However, this will cause your baby even more distress. Baby is crying for a reason, and crying is their only way of communicating to you that they need your help.
Regardless of how tired and frazzled you are, being a parent means responding to your baby’s needs no matter what. You may not be able to fix the problem right away, but never ignore it.
Just think of how your baby feels. Remember the last time someone you loved deeply, someone you depended on completely, ignored you when you desperately needed them? Exactly.
#2. Breathe deeply and slowly.
Breathe in through your nose to the count of three, then breathe out to the count of five.
Mothers are meant to find a baby’s cry distressing. Crying is one of the few tools babies have to get their mother’s attention, and crying is always the last resort. Your anxiety is natural, but make your way to calmness so you can respond with clarity and compassion.
Find the cause.
Babies get their needs met by crying. When Baby cries, the caregiver comforts him and gives him whatever he needs. This teaches Baby that crying is a way to get what they need. If you respond consistently and immediately, Baby learns he can trust you to meet his needs and will later cry even less!
#1. Feed Baby.
Babies, newborns especially, need to be fed every 1.5-2 hours so make sure it’s not hunger that’s making them cry. If they push the bottle or breast away, move on and look for another cause.
#2. Check their diaper.
How would you like to sit in a soiled diaper? Perhaps Baby is crying because they are wet or their diaper is uncomfortable. It could be pinching them, scratching them, or crinkled in an uncomfortable way. Changing their diaper can provide relief while changing the environment for a few minutes.
#3. Are they too hot or too cold?
New moms often overdress their babies and babies overheat quickly. When indoors, baby can wear the same number of layers as you do. When outside, one extra layer is enough. You may even want to check Baby’s clothing to make sure nothing is pinching or scratching him.
#4. Is baby overstimulated?
Your baby could simply be overwhelmed and stressed by the loud noises, bright lights, or numerous people. If they are in a stroller, place a blanket over the front to block out some of the activity. Sometimes moving to someplace quieter is all your baby needs.
After trying all the above, you may still be stuck with a crying baby. Days like these are common in the world of parenting. It isn’t an indicator of your parenting skills.
How to minimize the risk of baby crying in public:
1. Use a sling.
It is said that babies who are carried close are more able to cope with changes in the environment, and less prone to crying.
2. Have a schedule.
A regular feeding and sleeping schedule helps you know when baby is ready to eat or nap. This allows you to plan your outing for when Baby is rested and well-fed.
3. Consider a sitter.
It’s much easier to plan ahead and arrange for a sitter while you run your errands and leave Baby home.
Dealing with onlookers
People who feel the need to make their disapproval of your crying baby clear are best ignored. Any response you give will be perceived as provocative.
If all else fails, consider cutting your trip short and heading home.
Have you experienced a baby crying fit? How do you handle the situation?
First published at www.pregnancyandbaby.com
Featured image source: www.abcnews.go.com