Crying is your baby’s only means of communication.
Trying to figure out what your baby is crying about can be one of the most frustrating things a new mother has to learn. It doesn’t take long but it will seem like an eternity.
During our child sessions I usually can tell what is wrong with a little baby but trust me it comes fromyears of experience and years of being around babies. When my sone was little, I struggled just as much as any new mother does. I remember what a relief it was when i thought I finally figured it out.
Here are some notes to help you find out what your baby may be saying.
It’s too bad babies don’t come with instruction manuals. It would make parenting these early weeks a whole lot easier — wouldn’t it? Actually, your baby is trying to give you some subliminal clues to help out. Since she can’t tell you what she needs with words — “Hey, got a gas bubble over here!” — she relies on an array of whimpers, cries, and all-out screams to get your attention. You just have to crack the crying code to know what she’s saying. Here’s a cheat sheet to help clue you in:
- I’m hungry: Listen and look for a rhythmic, repetitive cry, combined with other signals such as rooting for the breast or sucking her fingers.
- I’m tired: You’ll hear a cry that starts slowly and builds in intensity and is accompanied by yawns or eye-rubs.
- I’m stressed out: Get ready for a fussy, whiny cry; she may try to turn her head or body away from over stimulating sights or sounds.
- I’ve got colic: You’ll likely know it by the intense screams, accompanied by fidgeting movements; often occurs in the late afternoon or evening.
- I’m in pain here: Listen for a loud, intense, out-of-the-ordinary cry that comes on suddenly (at a time or in a way that’s unusual for your baby).
- I’m not feeling so well: You’ll hear soft whimpers; usually very different from her normal cries.
A lot of trial and error and time with your baby may help you break her particular code (although some infants are quite inconsistent about their cries, thwarting your attempts to read them). Having a repetitive routine can also help. If your baby’s day falls into a pattern of feeding, then a period of alert play, followed by sleep, knowing where you are in the cycle can help you determine quickly what your little one needs. If she has a full belly and an empty diaper, she may be ready for a nap or need a cuddle.
A smile is sunshine in the house.
Modifying our StudioNook program for North Carolina.
Attending the VPPA convention. Glad to see my ole friends & the new friends still to make.
Allowing Dad to Help with Baby
Letting your partner find his own way is part of the parenting process.
I know I was really guilty of thinking I was the only one who knew what to do for our son – even daddy couldn’t possible know what I knew right? Wrong! It was a big mistake and I hope to help you not make the same mistakes I did.
When I finally broke down and let daddy help it was a relief to me and our son. I was exhausted and I needed help. The real blessing was that daddy WANTED to help. I had no idea how glad I would be until I finally let him into our world. We were all better for it. Today, some of my fondest memories of my husband and our son together. I still remember seeing them sleeping together on the sofa (since they both were tuckered out) and I still laugh right out loud when I think of two diaper changes. One my husband was sprinkled with the fountain of youth as the diaper came off and the cold air hit our baby boy and the other was the first time my husband had to change a really soiled diaper – oh that memory really makes me laugh.
Maybe you need a quality nap or you’re dying for a hot bath, or you just want to see a flick with a friend — sans baby. Who better to watch your critter for an hour — or the duration of an afternoon matinee — than the guy sleeping right next to you: Daddy! Even if he hasn’t had much experience in baby care (without you looking over his shoulder, at least), now’s the perfect time to help him get up to speed.
The first step toward getting Dad on duty? Ask him. It’s okay to acknowledge you need help or just a couple of hours to yourself. He may actually relish the chance to do things his own way (at least when it comes to changing a diaper).
The next step: Back off, Mama, and let Papa have some fun. Let him give the baby a bath or handle a few feedings (or if you’re nursing, ask him to put the baby to sleep). Welcome all questions but try to zip it on the backseat driving. Daddy may seem to have ten thumbs when it comes to wrestling junior into a onesie, but that’s just because he hasn’t had nearly as much practice as you. If you’re hypercritical or bossy, he might just decide to throw in the towel (and the diapers, bottles, and washcloths) and that’s not good for anyone involved, including the baby.
Hey, if your husband really wants to triple bag every poopy diaper, let him. In the past, the two of you have managed to mesh your differences (you’ve got that cute baby to show for it), and parenthood is no exception. Remind him (and yourself) that you’re new at this too — you learned by doing and so can he. Plus, change is good — a different style of playing (perhaps more physical or high-energy than your usual way) will stimulate your baby in new ways.
Keep in mind that your spouse is your partner, not your helper, and should be as fully involved in childrearing as possible (even if he’s the type to need a little shove to get going). You wouldn’t think of leaving him out of the big decisions and events that’ll shape your baby’s future, so why exclude him from the everyday stuff that also makes up your life as a family?