A baby crying is not just a noise, its emotional and all of us are programmed to become upset by it.
Mothers of young babies are often tormented to distraction by their crying babies and sometimes question their own mothering abilities. When combined with other factors such as tiredness, lack of sleep, mounting housework, financial worries and isolation, the pressure can become unbearable.
Listening to your baby cry can be stressful and pacifying them is hard work. Support from a partner, family or friends, especially in the first few weeks, is invaluable and will help you cope. Cuddling the baby, help with chores, washing, ironing, shopping, cooking dinner, tidying the house, will all help to give you a break.
Some babies are still sleepy for the first few weeks but then as they become more alert, they may cry more and make their presence felt. However, after the first few weeks you know your baby better and can settle them more easily. This can reduce their crying and help you to cope.
When your baby is six to eight weeks old you might notice that they are crying less. In fact, babies aged 10 to 12 weeks tend to cry for around an hour per day. It still sounds a lot, but in fact this is about half the amount they cried in the first six weeks.
In 2017 researchers from Warwick University published a global study of the crying patterns of 8,700 babies. They found that babies around the world cry for about two hours a day in their first two weeks, peaking at two hours and 15 minutes at six weeks old.
They also reported national patterns in crying. Babies in Denmark, Germany and Japan cried the least. Canadian and British babies were at the top end of the scale. Almost 30% of British babies cried for more than three hours a day, compared to just 5.5% of Danish babies.
If you are becoming overwhelmed by your baby crying and it is making you angry, put baby down in a safe place and go into another room. Take a few minutes to calm down so you can cope with the persistent crying. Don’t be ashamed and tell someone how you are feeling.
Professional Genie Tricks (Progenitrix)
1. Hold your baby upright, while gently swaying or rocking.
2. Put them in a baby sling with their face against your chest so they can hear your heartbeat as they did in the womb.
3. Try holding your baby in different positions, such as on your shoulder, cradled in your arms, or lying with their tummy faced down along your forearm.
4. Some mothers find swaddling their baby (wrapping them snugly in a blanket), can make them feel safe and secure.
5. Burping your baby after feeds or gently bringing their legs into their tummy.
6. Pushing them around in their pram or going for a drive can distract, change the scenery and calm the situation.
7. Some babies like sound, so play familiar soothing music to calm you and baby (ideally something you listened to when pregnant), or switch hoover on,
If you are still concerned about your baby seek professional advice.
Contact me to see if I can help.