There’s no actual Mute button. But a mom can dream, right? Crying can indicate any number of things from hunger to discomfort to sleepiness. As a mom, you’ll learn quickly to interpret your baby’s cries – and let it be said that this is no small feat – which will help when it comes to soothing them.
My favorite ways to soothe
One of my favorite soothing techniques is swaddling. Embarassingly, I just swaddled my 3.5 year old and 7 year old after swimming the other day. I was nice enough to leave their legs out so they could walk around, but the top of them was as good and tight of a swaddle as I have ever done.
I remember when my second baby Ellie was born, she was this cute, chunky, red fuzzy headed little baby. It's an indescribable feeling when you are handed your baby for the first time after birth, but an even better feeling the second time they hand your baby to you, the time after the nurse has bathed them and they are clean and perfectly swaddled like a tight little burrito. There is seriously nothing like it. Babies just have this amaziness that no one can really put a finger on. It like a million dreams and emotions, embodied in this tiny human swaddled up all tight in that little hospital blanket. They melt & enlarge your heart all at the same time. I feel all warm and mushy just writing about it! Shoot......we were talking about crying weren't we? Anyway, it was shortly after Ellie was born that they cleaned her up and handed her over swaddled tight as could be. Moments later she started crying and would NOT stop. I tried to nurse her, talk to her, bounce her, I handed her to my husband since he was more mobile and he gave it his best, but after 2 hours, she was STILL crying. At that point my life flashed before my eyes. Did I have a baby with colic? Was this going to be my future for the next few months? I think it was when we laid her down to change her that we realized as soon as we untucked her from her swaddle she started to calm down, and when we let her lay there unbundled she fell right asleep. It was relief and disappointment all at the same time. I knew then that she wouldn't be my baby burrito, and that we would have to find other soothing techniques for her.
She turned out to be the easiest most self soothing baby I ever had, she found her thumb after about 3 weeks.
What if nothing I try works?
I am a fixer by nature. I love to solve problems (if they don't involve any kind of math) I find it one of the most fulfilling things in life to be able to quiet an upset baby. When my nephew was born he cried constantly and no one really knew what to do. I remember my sister coming to visit and I thought I will be the one to solve the mystery of his crying! I tried every carrying position I could think of, with little change. We warmed up gel breast pads and wrapped them in a kitchen towel and held them to his tummy, I do remember that helping him, but there was nothing magical about anything we tried. Just like my nephew, often it is a road of trial and error and mommy instincts that leads you right to what your baby needs. No two babies are alike, even the ones that you create!
You're not alone - get help!
Experts like Amy Spangler, president of BabyGooroo.com and a world-renowned breastfeeding and child nutrition expert, have shared that behaviors like “sucking on a fist or pulling on an ear” that accompany the cry are a better indicator of the cause than the pitch or intensity. If your baby’s movements seem arbitrary and you’re desperate to put them out of distress, try these soothing techniques from babygooroo.com, or these from parenting.com. If you find that your baby does have colic there are a lot of moms who have been right where your at, check out these tips that have been mom tested.
Bottom line - your a great mom, and you can do it.
Images: Overstock and Brian Smith