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?
Some parents get so worked up when their baby cries that they won’t go anywhere with their babies for fear of public crying. You don’t have to do this. There are plenty of things you can do to lessen the amount of crying so that you can enjoy your time out.
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. Here are some tips to try:
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. Remember your baby is crying for a reason. 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. This can help to calm your mind and body from the effects of your baby’s crying.
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. Your anxiety is natural, but try to calm down so you can respond with clarity and compassion. If you react when you’re upset you’ll likely to only make the situation worse by your tone.
Babies can sense when you’re stressed and upset and will react. As you can imagine, that reaction isn’t going to be a positive one!
Find the cause.
Babies get their needs met by crying. When a baby cries, the caregiver comforts him and gives him whatever he needs. This teaches a 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! Hopefully!
#1. Feed Baby.
Babies, newborns especially, need to be fed every 1.5-2 hours. If your baby won’t stop crying, 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. But, if they eat then you know that’s their way of saying, “feed me, Mom!”.
#2. Check their diaper.
How would you like to sit in a soiled diaper and not being able to handle it yourself? Perhaps your 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 for them while giving you relief from their crying.
#3. Are they too hot or too cold?
New moms often overdress their babies, causing them to overheat quickly. When indoors, the 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 to calm down and stop crying.
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. It’s just part of the gig!
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. Try this to comfort a crying baby and see if the close contact is enough to soothe them. When they feel close to you they’re likely to feel at ease and less likely to cry.
2. Have a schedule.
A regular feeding and sleeping schedule helps you know when your baby is ready to eat or nap. This allows you to plan your outing for when your baby is rested and well-fed. If you know when your baby will typically eat you won’t schedule your outings at that time.
3. Consider a sitter.
It’s much easier to plan ahead and arrange for a sitter while you run your errands and leave the baby home. You’ll not only get down quicker, but your baby can rest and chill out at home. It’s a win-win all around.
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. It’s normal for babies to cry and if people don’t realize that, it’s not your problem. But, don’t be surprised if you get stares and rolls of the eye.
If you’ve tried everything to stop your baby from crying and just can’t handle it, it may be time to cut your trip short and go home. Let everyone regroup and try again tomorrow!
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