Most of the time a baby who cries a lot will do herself no harm, but may cause stress and worry for her parents. If your baby seems pretty unhappy and resists every effort that you make to cheer her up or calm her down, it can be hard not to feel rejected as well as frustrated. Parents sometimes blame themselves, feeling they are doing something wrong.
If you know that your baby's needs are met, they are not ill and you've tried everything you can think of to calm her but nothing's worked, it's time to take care of yourself so that you don't become overwhelmed. Here are a few suggestions:
- Take deep breaths.
- Put your baby down somewhere and let her cry for a while out of your hearing and leave the room until you feel calmer
- Play your favourite music and let yourself relax for ten minutes.
- Call a friend or relative to take over while you take a break.
- Talk to your health visitor about local support groups or mother-and-baby groups where you can share your feelings and discuss ways of coping with the crying with other new parents.
Sometimes going for a walk, pushing baby out in the fresh air may calm baby and give you a clearer head.
If it all gets too much, call one of the telephone helpline. The Serene helpline (formerly CRY-SIS) (020 7404 5011) is for parents of babies who have sleep problems and / or who cry excessively. The helpline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for emotional support and practical advice. Remember that your baby is an individual, and crying is his way of expressing himself. No matter how tired and low you are feeling, never blame yourself for the crying.