So lets face facts....If you have a baby, your baby will cry. That is what babies do after all!
However, if you are very lucky you might have a baby who cries very little. Lucky you! Yet this simply isn't the case for all of us.
You may have a baby who is colicky, or simply goes through stages of crying.
Terrible, inconsolable crying, for hours on end. Crying that no amount of nursing, swaddling, rocking, singing, shushing or soothing will help.
Now if you have a baby like this, seeing their little face twisted in what looks like agony, purple, lips quivering and letting out the most unearthly scream you have ever heard, it is heart wrenching. It is soul destroying and exhausting and probably feels like the worst moment of your entire life.
I've taken my daughter to the GP, the Health Visitor and even to A & E. We've tried gaviscon and multiple prescriptions but NOTHING has worked. In fact, I've been told by more than one doctor;
"Some babies are just like that. You just have to wait it out."
So I've held my own daughter as she cried, after hours of trying to soothe her without success with tears of anguish rolling down my face. I don't pretend to be an expert on this type of crying (my own daughter is only 7 weeks old), and I can't tell you any miracle solution to it either. There is one thing I do know though, if you have tried everything you possibly can, sometimes your only option is to ride it out...Now if this is your only option, you need to find a way to make it more bearable for you. So here it is, my way of coping with crying. The things I tell myself to make it alright. My coping with crying mantra.
Patience and Perseverance
First and foremost, it is the FACT reiterated by mums everywhere, this crying WILL pass. Now lets be honest, as a piece of advice it is crap. We know it will pass, and it does not solve the immediate problem and it is what everyone tells you when they can't think of anything else! However, think logically, use your common sense. Say for example your child has been crying for 2 hours (or much longer) straight, and you are at your wits end....stop and think....for every minute your baby cries you are a minute closer to the time when she will eventually stop! At least that is how I look at it!
I watched a rather interesting video on YouTube the other night about what is known as "The Period of Purple Crying" and I have to say it certainly made me feel much better. As I've said before, when babies cry they often look as though they are in pain but during this video it is explained that the facial expressions a baby makes while crying is often just that, and do not always mean they are in pain! This fact alone has made me feel so much better, but I strongly suggest watching this video yourself as the points raised within it have really helped me be more objective about my own daughters crying. I've put the video at the bottom of this post.
Someone, somewhere is always worse off than you! At any given moment, all over the world there are millions of parents coping with crying babies just as you are! In fact, I'd wager that there are probably even a few in the same town as you! Just the other day my husbands work colleague told him about his own experiences with his son. Apparently he barely slept the first year of his sons life because the only way this baby would sleep was in his car seat, in a moving car! As soon as the car stopped, the child would wake! He would come home at 6pm, sleep for 2 hours, by which point baby was screaming and he would spend the rest of the night driving him around town ALL NIGHT, and then have to go to work in the morning! Now that is pretty bad! Also, the longer I am a parent, the more stories like this I hear, some are even worse than this! I have to say that it really does make me feel better when I compare it to my situation!
How long does your baby really cry for? It may seem like an eternity to us adults, but as a percentage or a proportion of the day, is it really that long? Say your baby cries for 4 hours without cease (I know for some poor, poor souls it may be sooo much longer), 4 hours out of a 24 hour day isn't a huge amount of time really.
Above all things, remember how strong you are. You coped for 9 months with this child/children inside of you. You then laboured for hours to bring them into the world, or had to undergo major surgery (c-section) and you endured the terrible unbearable pain which comes with it. It stands to reason that if you have coped with these things, you can and will cope with this crying! Now say your baby cries for about 4 hours straight, I'm willing to bet that for the majority of mummies labour lasted a lot longer than that! So if you made it through that, you will make it through this terrible time!
I cannot stress this enough, get support! Is there someone to take baby if even for an hour to give you some peace? Please take that opportunity. You not only need time for yourself, you deserve it! Being a mummy is bloody hard work, and being a mummy to a crying baby is even harder! You are doing the best you can for your baby every day, of that I have no doubt. You have cried with them, gone without sleep, food, and sometimes your own basic hygiene for them (those days you can't seem to make it to the shower...lovely isn't it). Other mummies reading this, I am proud of you, I truly am. You should be so proud of yourself too, you are truly amazing. You are a wonderful parent and you are doing an amazing job. Please always remember that. I try to, and sometimes it is what gets me through the day.