Being a mother for the first time was a shock. After a not so peaceful birth, I was faced with a baby that would cry most of the day and sleep very little, if at all. The fact that his collar bone had been broken at birth made him feel extreme pain, one of the reasons as to why he cried incessantly. But that's another story that I might write about one day and share my experince with hospital vs. homebirth.
Today I want to share with you a few things that helped me to better cope with my crying baby. I hope it helps you as well.
1. Stay calm
You are not the first, last, or the only mother to struggle. Always remember how many millions and millions of mothers went through the same situation prior and the millions and millions to come. We all feel desperate, inefficient, and simply not good enough at some point.
This, added to the fact that our clothes no longer fit, truly makes us feel less desirable. We no longer feel beautiful and we struggle to find time to look after ourselves, which can make our world feel dark and lonely. The truth is you look more beautiful than ever, although you may not believe.
Trust that soon everything will feel and be better.
2. Connect with your baby
Connecting with your baby means being present and willing to understand his pre-verbal messages. For this avoid distractions like social media and TV as much as possible. You really need to be present.
Babies communicate with us ALL THE TIME. Ask yourself the following questions and write down what your baby does to communicate with you.
Is he hungry?
Is he tired?
Does he have a dirty diaper?
Is he thirsty?
Does he want to be hugged?
Is he having tummy troubles (gas, colic, etc.…)?
Does he need to burp?
Is he too hot or too cold?
Does he need stimulation?
Is he teething?
Asking questions brings awareness and will aid in finding a solution.
3. Breastfeed on demand
Breastfeeding is more than the amazing benefits of a mother’s milk; it is a heart-to-heart connection. The energy and vibration that the mother emanates while relaxed and focused on that precious moment is highly powerful! It can heal and restore a baby’s body and soul. Every second that you spend nursing your baby you are investing in your child’s future and, consequently, in the future of humanity.
3. Use a baby sling
If you believe in the old theory: “Let the baby cry until he stops,” then you are not reading the right tips. For me this is totally non sense. Hold the baby close to you most of the time. Though this can be very tiring and frustrating because you can’t get much work done. I used a sling to hold the baby close to me while getting my housework and other chores done. he/she will feel loved and protected and consequently more relaxed.
I cannot stress enough the benefits of co-sleeping with your baby. By experience, co-sleeping has solved many of my problems. Our nights were more peaceful as I could breastfeed at any time without having to get out of bed. I could hear my baby breathing and know that he is ok. Co-sleeping is recommended by La Leche League International. Your baby feels safe and loved.
5. Take a walk in nature
The fresh air, the green trees, the power of Mother Nature has a profound relaxing effect on us. We are animals and belong to it, like being in a mother’s arms, we are part of it. No wonder we feel relaxed. Take a walk with your baby in a place with beautiful scenery, filled with trees and lusciously pure air. Breathe deeply and relax; enjoy the benefits for both mother and baby.
6. Find help
Caring for a baby is a special period in a woman’s life that will not last forever. However, we need to recognize when we need help. Don’t hold back. If you can invest in someone to help you with laundry, house cleaning and, if possible, someone to help you with food as well, do it.
If you are breastfeeding and/or dealing with a crying baby, you are doing plenty and should definitely take help when it is offered.
Even if it is for five minutes, please do it! Breathing exercises and stretches will make a total difference in the way you feel more relaxed and happier and, as a result, so will your baby. If he feels that you are calm and secure, he will probably feel the same way.
8. Find a good doctor
If the problem persists, you might need to ask a physician to see your baby. Finding a good doctor with an open mind is essential. Find someone that is compassionate for you and the baby, as well as someone that offers a holistic approach to medicine, withholding from over medicating. The right doctor will treat you and your baby as a whole, not as separate parts and is someone who honestly wants to help.
10. Ask for guidance and protection
This is the last, but should be the first tip. Always ask guidance in your life. This becomes even more important when you become a mother. There is no way you can raise a loving, respectful, compassionate and intelligent child without God's hand in your life. Pray and ask for help all the time.
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