Trying to soothe a crying baby for several hours a day can wear you out. No matter how much you love your baby.
All babies go through periods of time when they cry a lot, without obvious reason. This increased crying starts around 2 weeks and peaks around 2 months. On average, a baby of 2 months old cries for about 2,5 hours a day. Some babies even cry for more than 5 hours a day. Most parents get really stressed and some even lose confidence in their parenting skills by this crying, especially when nothing seems to soothe or comfort their child. So, if you find yourself in despair, please remember, you are not alone.
If your baby cries a lot, that doesn’t mean that you are doing anything wrong!
Babies have a rough time adjusting to life outside the womb. Crying is their only language in their first months. They cry for a lot of different reasons, from being hungry, tired, wet or cold, to being alone or being overly stimulated by a lot of company, to name just a few. There is no reason to feel ashamed or embarrased with your child’s crying and your own emotional reaction to it. It is okay to be frustrated. Don’t bottle your worries and frustration up inside. Please reach out, share your feelings of despair. When you open up to other parents, you will be surprised how many parents went through the same discouraging period of intense crying. This is, because it is part of the normal development of healthy babies! In Canada and the USA this period is referred to as the period of PURPLE crying. PURPLE is an acronym and stands for : Peak of Crying – Unexpected – Resists soothing – Pain-like face – Longlasting – Evening
Knowledge of this crying pattern in newborns makes it easier to cope with.
First, since it is a normal stage in the development of your baby, it is clear that you, as parents, are not doing anything wrong. So, be there for your little one, hold her and (try to) soothe her. But don’t feel guilty because of her crying. It is not your fault.
This crying is periodical. Meaning that this too shall pass… Babies have their peak in crying in their second month.
Most babies cry a LOT less around their fifth month. Knowing this can help you through this stressful few weeks. Eventually, your baby will stop crying.
Information about the period of PURPLE crying
This link will send you to an excellent website with lots of information and tips. A good starting point for mothers, fathers, grandparents and other caretakers. Please share this knowledge with your babysitter or nanny!
Practise Self-Care and grant yourself some Me-Time during this stressful and tiring period.
The best thing you can do, for your baby, your partner and yourself, is take care of yourself first. Give yourself some Me-Time every day, even if it is only 15 minutes. Write in your diary, listen to music, take a shower with the bathroom door closed, have a coffee with a friend, make a phone call while somebody else comforts your baby, read a magazine, have a power-nap, walk around the block to get some air…
Did you know that music lifts our spirit?
So go ahead, and treat yourself to a new MP3 song after a tiring day.
|For Klaartje these are soothing and mood improving songs by Madredeus:||For Hannie “Tubular Bells” works like a charm:|
Hannie’s friends Jenny van Diggelen and Guy Roelofs make and compose music and some of their songs are free available for you on this page. Hannie especially recommends the Emigrant, which is a beautiful piece of music.
Unfortunately, a crying baby can give caregivers so much stress that they feel the urge to shake, smother or hit their baby.
This can happen to loving but frustrated parents, with no history or tendency to violence or abuse. If you notice frustration levels going up in your new-parent-friends or family, please don’t judge them but reach out to them! Sharing despair and anger can make a big difference in preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome.
If you are a parent in despair reading this, here’s what to do to keep your baby safe:
What to do when your crying baby makes you so angry that you feel the urge to shake, smother or hit your child?
As said before, it is okay to be frustrated. What matters is, how you cope with your frustration. Remember, your child is not crying to pester or manipulate you. He is communicating to you, that he is having a rough time. Don’t take your anger out on your infant. Never ever shake your baby or throw her in her crib angrily. Shaking your baby is extremely dangerous for your child. It can cause brain damage, bleedings in the retina and fractures, to name just a few of the awful effects of shaking.
If you feel you can’t control your emotions, put your crying baby in his crib or another safe place and leave the room! Come back when you are calm again.
Walking away from your little one is not a sign of weakness or being an unfit parent. It is a very good way of protecting your baby! Still too many babies suffer or even die from Shaken Baby Syndrome. Most important, don’t hesitate to call a neighbour, a friend or your family doctor. Asking for help in coping is the best thing you can do for your baby!
Information about Shaken Baby Syndrome
Very good information about the dangers of shaking your baby and what to do to prevent it.
Extra tip for creating a calm atmosphere in your home:
By no means I am trying to suggest that a few drops of lavender oil will suddenly take away all your stress and frustration, but I know from experience that it does help to create a calm(er) atmosphere around you…
Sharing frustration and solutions helps a lot.
Have you ever been so desperate with the crying of your baby that you needed to leave the room? What worked for you, to overcome the period of PURPLE Crying?
We’d love to hear from you!
Even if it is just to share your piece of uplifting and soothing music!
Suggested reading: Is your baby crying a lot? Try babywearing
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”