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How do I calm myself down when my baby is crying?

By BabySleepAdmin 2 weeks ago

How do I calm myself down when my baby is crying?

Babies might seem powerless and helpless, but they actually possess one of the most powerful tools in the human toolkit: their ability to cry. Crying is a universal way for babies to communicate early on. It ensures their parents stay close and increases their chances of survival. Infant crying strongly activates “parental-brain networks”, including those responsible for motivation and reward. Hearing a little one cry also triggers physical arousal, or heightened responses and feelings in your body, such as an increased heartbeat. Crying also tends to lead to a strong emotional response – hearing a baby cry can prompt a range of emotions, from empathy and love, to stress, anxiety, frustration, anger, helplessness, and despair.

The most important thing to remember is that these feelings are normal and have been experienced by parents since the beginning of time.

It’s completely natural to feel badly when your baby cries, particularly when you are tired, depleted, or unsure how to soothe them. Here are some tips on how to cope in these challenging situations:

1. Practice emotion regulation strategies. Everyone struggles with difficult emotions at times. There are several ways to help manage your emotions. Try taking deep breaths and practice meditation or mindfulness. Practice self-compassion and tell yourself positive statements, like “I am doing my best, and that is more than enough for my baby.” Distraction is also effective. A recent study showed that listening to music or playing a game on their phone helped mothers of infants tolerate crying better. Finding ways to calm yourself can make it easier to remain calm and patient with your baby. Experiment with different techniques to discover what works best for you.

2. Step away for a moment. If you find yourself becoming too overwhelmed, it’s okay to step away in your home for a few minutes, as long as your baby is in a safe place (like their crib or a play yard). If there is another responsible caregiver available to watch your baby, consider taking a walk outside. All parents need a break sometimes. Taking a brief break can help you regain your composure and approach the situation with a clearer mind.

3. Reach out for support. Taking care of a baby can be a lonely task, especially in today’s modern world. If you feel that coping with crying and other demanding aspects of childcare is difficult – reach out to other parents, friends, family members, and/or your family’s health care provider. Sharing your feelings with others can provide comfort and reassurance. And sometimes another pair of hands can make a big difference.

4. Make sure you are taking care of yourself. Eat well, stay hydrated, exercise, and get enough sleep (which is tricky with a baby to care for, of course, but should be a high priority). These pillars of health are fundamental for managing stress effectively. Be sure to reach out to your own health care provider, too, for support with your physical or emotional needs.

Remember, it is completely normal to feel stressed and frustrated when your baby is crying. Hopefully, these strategies will help. If you continue to struggle with your emotions or feel overwhelmed, consider seeking guidance from a healthcare professional. They can provide additional support and resources to help you navigate the challenges of parenthood.

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