Babies fuss sometimes. It’s part of being a baby, and there’s not a whole lot you can do to stop it. Fussiness and crying can be brought on by anything from hunger or discomfort to loneliness or a sense of frustration. Babies have a difficult time communicating what they want, and in many cases really don’t even know what they want. Their ability to process why they don’t feel happy at the moment is almost as primitive at first as their ability to express their frustration is.
Of course, some babies are more strong willed and prone to being fussy than others. That’s perfectly normal. How many parents have told you that one of their babies was a “good baby” and the other one was a “terror?”
Regardless of how often, how hard, or how long your baby cries or fusses, though, you can do yourself and your baby a favor by remaining calm. Emotions are powerful things, and you can bet that your baby picks up on yours. When you are frustrated or angry, she picks up on that. Likewise, when you are happy and peaceful, she senses that as well.
It can be difficult to stay calm when your baby is crying. Your natural instinct as a parent is to try to meet her needs, and when nothing you try seems to be working it can be very frustrating, especially if you don’t have a naturally calm temperament. Here are some things you can do to help yourself remain calm when your baby is anything but:
- Sing. Soft, sweet songs not only help baby calm down, but mom and dad as well.
- Pray. If it’s not your thing, that’s fine, but many people do find a lot of comfort in praying.
- Meditate. We don’t suggest doing this while the baby is actually fussy and needy, but many parents find that meditating for a little while every day helps them to relax and stay calmer throughout the day.
- Play soothing music. Turn the radio or mp3 player on to something nice and relaxing. Soft jazz or Classical music is perfect for this.
- Talk calmly to baby. Using a soothing tone, even in speaking, calms you as much, and maybe more, than it does baby.
- Step out of the room if you need to. Make sure baby is someplace safe, of course. Understand that being with baby and being overly frustrated isn’t helping meet baby’s needs. Take a step away. Your baby will be OK until you get back, and you will be better prepared to take care of her.