Babies cry. They are built to cry, to grab our attention because they need something. Food, warmth, love, protection. It’s their way of communicating to the ones they are building an attachment with, an attachment that will last a lifetime.
Bear in mind ALL babies are different, and what works for one will most certainly not work for yours!
Sometimes it just becomes too much. And everyone will have advice for you… it’s colic, reflux, baby’s hungry, tired, wet or uncomfortable. My advice is… to listen and then do what you feel is right. Ask questions to professionals (see your GP, specialist or local health care nurse), and then go with your gut. You know baby best and surely you want the best for it, or at the very least, for it to stop crying!
Sometimes medical issues have been missed, so if things aren’t feeling right, get some help.
Other times (like between the hours of 5pm and 8pm) the universe sends all babies into arsenic/witching hour and they just aren’t happy. Maybe they sense that you are trying to get dinner organised, the dishes washed and baby off to sleep, while all they want is cuddles?! Remember this will not last forever, the newborn who is utterly dependent on you, crying in your arms will soon be running around, causing you grief (and plenty of joy) in various other ways. Breathe and get through each day as it comes.
Sleep! Arghh, the almighty question – ‘when does baby sleep through the night?!’ The holy grail of new parenthood – a full night’s sleep! It is possible, eventually…
At first baby has no idea what day and night is. It needs to learn this, just as anyone learns to ride a bike. Provide the right conditions (predictable routines help like bath, milk, book, song… and a quiet, dark, warm place to sleep) and support. Baby wants to know you are near.
During the night, they wake up. Some go back to sleep by themselves, some don’t. My first baby picked up the ‘self settling’ after six months (Save Our Sleep by Tizzie Hall was my go-to, but a little hard to read as it felt a bit dis-jointed), my second baby at nearly 4yrs old still prefers to negotiate whether they will sleep through the night or not!
Sometimes a baby has become accustomed to getting you in the room by their cries. Some babies will self-settle if you don’t get to them in the first 2 minutes or so. If you can cope, let them cry for a few minutes, you may be surprised with what happens. Other babies will let you know of their disapproval of your absence for as long as it takes, ensuring the folks in the next suburb also know of their disapproval! Their endurance levels can be impressive. If this is your baby, maybe this is when a cuddle is needed? Who cares about self-settling? Who cares about a few years ahead of being woken through the night? One day they will be wanting to sleep as far away from you as possible, not want anything to do with you. Commit to the new human you have created and go with it.
My final word: if you are feeling distress, then without doubt so is your baby. You are an adult and they are not… be the adult, ask for help, find support, cuddle your baby and take a deep breath as tomorrow is a new day and hooray to you for making it through!!!