Baby Won’t Stop Crying: Parent’s Survival Guide
Little Yawn Collective - Dec 10, 2021
It’s happening, your sweet little one is not having a sweet time, and neither are you! You’ve been anxiously anticipating the time where you cannot soothe your baby, and your baby will not stop crying.
You feel like you have done everything you can think of, but their cries are not being comforted.
Feeling stressed may be an understatement. Don’t doubt yourself or your parenting skills. This happens to every parent, and you will make it through.
Run Through the Basics
All babies cry, it’s their way of letting you know that something is up. By now, you probably know your baby’s cries and can tell when they are hungry, need to be changed, or want to be held. Sometimes there may be multiple things your baby wants simultaneously, and their cries may be a little different from what you are used to.
With a sleep-deprived brain, you may find it impossible to figure out what exactly your baby is crying about. When it seems like their little wails will never end, first try running through the list of common reasons to see if one of these is the trick to helping your little one calm down.
Does your baby have a wet or dirty diaper?
When you check your baby’s diaper, also check for any signs of diaper rash, as this can be uncomfortable for your baby.
Is your baby hungry?
Even if it has only been a short time since their last feeding, as babies grow, they will need more to eat, and maybe an additional feeding needs to be added to their daily amount.
Does your baby have gas?
Try burping your baby or giving them something to aid with their gas. Try Calming Probiotic & Organic Chamomile Sleep Drops. These drops are melatonin-free and contain probiotics that can help with tummy troubles little ones may experience.
Sometimes babies just become overly tired and can't fall asleep. Consider some tried and true sleepy time tips, like taking a drive around the block, giving them a pacifier, or being swaddled snugly and rocked.
Sometimes your baby is just frustrated and may need to be left alone for a little bit of time to fall asleep on their own.
Is The Environment Different?
Maybe your baby is too cold or too hot? Taking off their clothes or adding a blanket can help them adjust to a more comfortable temperature. If you are feeling a little chilly or overheated, chances are your baby may be feeling the same. Is the room too bright?
You can dim the lights in the room to make it more soothing or use solar blocking curtains. Are there outside noises, like traffic, that are distracting to your baby? Using a white noise machine or a fan can help block out those noises.
Top To Bottom Approach
If you have gone through the list of common ailments, try inspecting your baby from top to bottom to see if there is something that you may have overlooked.
Don’t forget to check inside their mouth for signs of teething. If your baby has started the teething process, you can give them teething toys or something cold to help calm down any angry gums.
Some symptoms of teething include:
- Excessive drooling
- Red, swollen gums
- Biting or chewing on their fingers, pacifier more than usual
- Low-grade fever paired with one or more of the above symptoms
Small threads wrapped around their fingers or toes. Sometimes, threads from your baby’s socks or shirts can wrap around their fingers and toes, making it especially painful.
Check each finger and toe and make sure that this is not the case. If you try to feed your baby and they are not interested or turn their head away, they have had enough to eat and may need some extra burping.
It is the word that strikes tension into parents...colic. If your baby's bouts of crying are excessively fussy, but you cannot find anything wrong with your child, and they act normally during other times of the day, this could be colic.
Colic is an intense period of crying and fussiness with no clear reason. Doctors will mainly look for the following symptoms when diagnosing colic:
- Predictable periods of crying, mainly in the evening (of course right when you are at your most tired)
- Crying for no reason, and feeding schedules and diaper changing remain consistent
- Tension in the body when crying, like tight fists and stiff arms and legs
- Crying for three or more hours a day, for three or more days a week, for more than three weeks
It is unknown what causes colic, but it could be a range of factors from food allergies to stress and tension. Your little one is new to the world, and they are still working out this strange place. Right now their only method of communication is crying, and they may just have a lot to say about being brand new to the world.
The good news about colic is that babies do grow out of it. It is mainly common during the first six weeks and continues through three to four months.
The bad news is that you’ll be there for every moment of it. Remember that whenever you find yourself becoming frustrated, this is normal, and that there is no known cause for colic. It can happen to any family.
After your pediatrician has ruled out any medical issues and is confident that this is a case of colic, they can share tips on how to treat and soothe your baby. This may include using a different shaped bottle if your baby is bottle-fed.
You can also try changing your baby’s position when they are being fed. Parents can slowly reintroduce foods to determine which food may be the culprit.
When to Seek Additional Care
Sometimes you have done all you can as a parent, and you may need to call your child’s pediatrician or seek urgent care. If you see any of these symptoms, you will want to take your baby to be seen by a medical professional:
- Has not eaten or drunk in several hours
- Swollen body parts, especially their genitals or the soft spots on their head
- Excessive vomiting
- Fever that cannot be lowered with medication recommended by your pediatrician
- Your babies crying intensifies whenever they are moved, touched, or held
It is perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed when your baby is crying and the end is nowhere in sight. With a lack of sleep, our emotions and thoughts will not be at their peak, and it can be easy to say or feel things that are a response to anxiety and without thinking.
Take A Step Back and Regroup
If you find that you are not feeling like yourself and losing your cool, it is okay to take a step back and regain composure while caring for your baby.
It is perfectly okay to place your baby in their crib (with no blankets or soft objects), shut their door, and walk away for ten to fifteen minutes.
Even if you are still not fully calmed after this time, check on your baby and wait for another short period. You can also check their baby monitor and turn the volume or mute or low so that you can take a small break from their cries.
Seek Out Support
Call a family member, friend, or neighbor to assist. Sometimes we just need a helpful, guiding voice to let us know that things will be okay. These people may even have tips that you may not have thought of.
Allow them to help you when you need a break. Also, your baby may enjoy being comforted by another relative. This may be enough distraction to make their focus change.
Clear Up The Space
Sometimes your baby is too distracted. Do you have a mobile above their crib, or is the TV on while you are trying to comfort your child? These things may be more distracting to your child than you think. Try making their environment as plain as possible to prevent your little one from feeling overwhelmed.
Plan A Through Z
If you live with your partner, have a plan for what to do when you're feeling overwhelmed.
If you live alone, remember there are always other people at hand -- from family and friends, to professional support.
Call Your Pediatrician
If you have tried everything, and your baby has been crying for hours on end, it may be time to call their pediatrician and see if they need medical attention.
As you calm down, your baby can sense your emotions and will hopefully start to calm down as well. Babies can feel when you are upset and tense, and their reaction is to cry. It is easier to console a baby when you are calm and collected. You must always remember to take care of yourself when taking care of your family!
Don’t Blame Yourself!
Although it is important not to blame yourself as a parent when your baby has uncontrollable crying, think over any changes you have made in your parenting style.
If you are breastfeeding, has anything in your diet changed? Have you consumed foods with too much sugar or caffeine? If you find that your diet has changed recently, this could impact your baby by experiencing food allergies.
Have you recently moved, or maybe you have a new pet? Moving to different regions may have triggered unknown allergies in your baby, and especially if you have a new pet in the home.
Even if one of these triggers is causing your baby to be upset, it is essential not to blame yourself!
Babies cry, it’s what they do. It is no reflection on your parenting abilities if your baby becomes inconsolable. If you are worn out from parenting, join the club of millions of parents who have experienced sleepless nights due to babies who won’t stop crying.
There are some people who just have special touches with babies (commonly known as baby whisperers). Some of these helpful tips get passed around from parent to parents, hoping to unlock that door to a calm, more blissful baby. When you are worn out from the wailing, try one of these tips to see if you can soothe your baby a little more.
Take A Drive
Go for a car ride around the block. Some babies are known for passing right out when the car is put in drive. There is something about that gentle rolling and swaying motion similar to the movement they felt in the womb. Many of us still fall asleep in the car!
Change of Scenery
Go for a walk. Similarly, putting your baby in a stroller can have the same effect as a car ride. The constant swaying motion is similar to that of a car ride, and hearing the outside world can have a calming effect on your baby. They may also have pent-up energy that can be used up when looking around the outside environment.
Massages can be soothing as your baby is being given a loving touch from their parents. Also, tummy troubles may be helped with a gentle massage to get things moving. When giving your baby a massage, you do not have to use any lotion or oil, but it may help if your baby’s skin is dry.
If that is the case, try a Nourishing Body Lotion with Oat & Shea Butter to help your little one feel more comfortable. This soothing, gentle lotion is infused with our NaturalSnooze fragrance, which contains scents that are proven to create an environment that helps little ones fall asleep and stay asleep.
Sometimes your baby just wants to be held and rocked. You can try different variations of holding and rocking your baby, like gently patting their bottom or swaying back and forth.
Even a combination of both has been known to help! Try singing or speaking to your baby in a soft voice while rocking them. Being held and talked to can be soothing to your baby.
Change your baby’s position.
Maybe they would like a different point of view. Instead of holding them in your arms, you can place them on your lap or have closely monitored tummy time.
Give a warm bath. A clean and warm baby can be a happy baby. The warm water and being snuggled in a fluffy, warm towel can be just the ticket to a content baby.
Scents can trigger emotions. Scents like lavender, sandalwood, and cedarwood can help relax babies and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, while scents of italian bergamot and jasmine can help with staying asleep. You can use products with these scents, like our Relaxing Pillow & Linen Spray. Spray on their bedding or just in the room to create a comfy and snoozy atmosphere.
Does your baby find something particularly funny? Do they love your funny faces or when you blow on their tummy? Trying actions that make your baby laugh can help them forget their fussiness. Singing silly songs and using silly props can distract your babies from crying into giggles.
It can be especially hard to be a parent when you are unable to comfort your little buddy. It’s important to remember that these times are all a part of being a parent.
Here at Little Yawn Collective, we know that times can be hard when caring for your baby. We know that you want the best for them, and we are here to support and build confidence as you care for your little one.
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