Many parents have a lot of fears in this situation. They are afraid for the health of their child, they are worried that they cannot make contact with their little one or that they will lose control at some point, and finally they begin to think that they are simply not suitable for being a parent. These feelings of frustration, anxiety and even anger they are quite common when a child fails for hours and gives the impression that they just do not want to calm down. Therefore, the most important thing is to find some strategies that will allow you to take care of yourself in such moments. An upset parent finds it difficult to cry for a child, so start by soothing your emotions.
Parent emotions and child emotions
When a child cries for hours and this crying seems to be endless, a parent naturally feels a sense of responsibility. Often, however blaming yourself it can affect your ability to be a calm, present and sensitive parent. The parent-child relationship is a type of partner relationship, so the emotions of one have a huge impact on the emotions of the other. If the parent is overwhelmed, angry, anxious or depressed, it is difficult for the child to calm down. That is why parent support is so important.
Additional support is indicated when the parent:
- He is depressed and the condition is severe and long-lasting
- Feels rejected and deprived of support
- He suffers from serious health problems
- He is exhausted by a lack of sleep
- Is a victim of bullying or neglect
Parents who will learn take care of your emotions and ask for support, they also learn to communicate with their babies and find ways to bond even with restless children. It is worth looking for ways to calm your emotions. Simple type strategies counting to ten, deep breathing, going outside, placing the child and walking around the house for a while, listening to your favorite music with a calming effect, all this can help maintain a good mood.
A good idea is also finding a mantra. It can be a word or sentence that, repeated over and over, provides some comfort and a positive outlook. With a crying baby in their arms, parents often find themselves speaking more to themselves than to a child, and the mantra can add energy. Repeating phrases like "it's difficult but possible", "just breathe" and the simplest "everything will be okay" can be helpful.
Shaken baby syndrome
Everyone, even the most-loving parent, may at some point feel like shaking a wailing child at the end. Most overcome this desire and cope in a different way. Unfortunately, shaken baby syndrome is still the leading cause of infant death. The blood vessels in the child's brain cannot withstand and burst to form subdural hematomas. Therefore, shaking can also lead to serious brain damage. This applies not only to several months of suckling, but also to children up to 5 years old. It is hard to believe that all the people who happened to shake their child are decent parents. Usually, shaking a baby happens because the parent is tired and brought to the brink of endurance. Therefore, it is important to find methods to protect yourself from this condition.
Some tips for parents of children who cry a lot
- Get support. Whenever possible, look for someone to help you during those times of the day when your child is most capricious. Agree if someone offers help in cooking, cleaning or caring for a child. Look for other parents who can help if needed.
- Remember that time is your ally. Most babies are the most tearful around 6 weeks of age, and then gradually calm down.
- You don't have to be the perfect parent. Parenthood is not about perfection and automatic response to every child's need. Anyway, it would simply be impossible to do. So instead of worrying that you don't always react exactly to the time, enjoy the moments when the child is not crying.
- Know your options. Pay attention to it when your body signals a feeling of overwhelming. The sooner you notice that you are approaching the end of strength, the easier it will be to plan something and prevent loss of balance - try to get additional help, a break, a walk or a short supportive conversation with someone close. These little things will help you put in a better mood to look after your child as well as possible.
Why is the baby crying?
Crying is a way to attract attention and inform about your needs. Although it may be difficult to recognize these different types of crying at first, most mothers confirm that after some time they have learned to read the cause of crying perfectly. The most common of them are:
- Tiredness or drowsiness
- Soiled or wet diaper
- Excessive stimuli (noise, too many people, too much activity)
- Pain or illness
- Colic, reflux or food allergies
- Fear of strangers
Crying language learning
We all perceive the world through sense organs, each of us having a different sensory sensitivity. And little children are very different in this respect. Hence, it should not be surprising that one child loves to be carried and cuddled, and the other does not necessarily or one cries because of the wet diaper, and the other ignores this fact and plays happily.
It is good from the very beginning to pay attention to the child's preferences, in particular:
- Different varieties of crying - at first each cry may seem the same, but gradually parents learn to see the difference between crying caused by drowsiness, hunger, colic, etc. It is worth paying attention to the intensity, tone, pitch of sounds, as well as other nonverbal signs of discomfort. Rubbing eyes, arched backs, tightly closed eyelids, clenched fists, increased mobility - all of these signals communicate something specific about the condition of the child.
- Mood changes - whether it changes with the time of day, the change of environment, or relative to the time of feeding or napping. For example, if your child is cranky in the early afternoon, it is worth paying attention to other signs of drowsiness.
- Reactions to changing environments - children often send signals that adults simply don't notice. Your child may be overly excited when there are too many people around or the order of the day has changed.
- Learning how to calm a child can absorb a lot of attention and energy of parents. Good news for those for whom it turns out to be an extremely difficult task. The child will most likely not give up and will continue to try to help parents learn.
If the parent is constantly feeling overwhelmed, additional help may be needed. Especially if feels great difficulty in receiving the signals sent by the child or when something seems to stand in the way of establishing emotional closeness and attachment reaction. If the baby does not take behaviors adequate to his age (e.g. between 3 and 6 months should already return the smile, respond to gestures and sounds), it is worth seeking help. First, for your own peace. The fear of whether everything is okay can seriously hinder establishing a parent-child relationship. Secondly, any difficulties are much easier to overcome if they are noticed early.
It happens that the reason why the child has difficulty calming down lies in the disruption of the nervous system. This is especially likely if childbirth was somehow a difficult or traumatic experience. Special circumstances that may require professional help include:
- Medical problems or disability
- Premature birth
- Difficult or traumatic delivery
- Adoption or separation from a biological mother
- When seeking help from specialists, it is worth remembering to give them this type of information, even if they do not ask about it themselves.
Where to look for help?
When a child cries a lot or on the contrary seems indifferent, you should seek help from a pediatrician or a child development specialist. Although a calm child is the dream of many parents, a baby who is indifferent and does not respond to signals from the environment, needs help.
It is also worth using parenting skills development workshops and support groups. If the difficulties relate to feelings of depression, overwhelming, disappointment of the guardians or the resulting conflicts between the child's parents, it is good to use psychological help.