All babies cry, but the tears can take a devastating toll. When nothing you do soothes your crying baby , you may feel anxious . What if there's something wrong and you miss it completely? What if you lose control? Take heart in your ability to care for your baby — and to recognize when you're reaching the end of your rope.
When the tears won't stop
It's tough to listen to your baby cry. First, address the fundamentals. A crying baby might merely need to be fed, burped or changed. Maybe it's time for a nap, a change in position or a session in the rocking chair. Or maybe your crying baby needs a little more — or a little less — attention. Also look for signs of unwellness, such as fever, puking, or changes in eating or sleeping patterns.
If your baby seems otherwise OK but the crying continues, do your best to stay calm.
* Slow down. Take a deep breath and count to 10 . Repeat a calm word or phrase, such as, "Take it easy." Imagine yourself in a calm, relaxing place. Play soothing music in the background. * Take a break. Place your baby in a safe secure area such as the crib or bassinet, if you are home alone. Let your baby cry while you take a few minutes to regroup in another room. Remind yourself that you're not failing your baby or being lazy if you can't stop a crying spell . Sometimes babies simply need to cry. * Get moving. Place your baby into a stroller and take a spirited walk. The exertion may take your mind off the tears . You might even buckle the baby into his or her car seat and take a brief drive. * Expressï»¿ your emotions. When you're getting frustrated, speak up. Saying the words out loud — either to yourself or to an understanding ally or loved one — can help ease the tension. * Ask for help. If someone is home with you, let them take over for awhile . Take advantage of baby-sitting offers from trusted friends, neighbors or other close contacts. Use the time to take a nap or simply relax. * Recognize your limits. If you're worried about your ability to cope with a crying baby , contact your doctor, a local crisis intervention service or a mental health help line for support. Post a crisis number on the icebox or in another visible spot.