When your baby cries, and cries and cries, how do you deal?
Well, I’ve learned that crying is a baby’s way of communicating their wants and needs. While my baby was in NICU, I rarely heard her cry. When she did, it was feeding time, and when the nurse took her off my chest to put her back in the incubator.
When she came home, it all changed. I heard about three different kinds of crying which surprised me! It can be a bit stressful when your baby cries and you don’t know why or what to do to comfort her.
I remember how long those first three nights were after bringing our daughter home from NICU. She cried and cried, and cried some more. The reasons, she was in a new place with different lighting. There wasn’t a lot of noises in the background. Plus, she was used to sleeping a certain way. When she came home, everything was brand new to her all over again. I had to be patient with her transition. I quickly understood these new changes, and set out to do the best I could to make her feel comfortable in her new home. I learned all of her cries. If she cried after a feeding, it was either gas or acid reflux. Preemies can’t differentiate between hunger pangs and gas, so I watched her body language to give me clues. If she was hungry, she would put her hand to her mouth or move her lips. If she had acid reflux, her hands would go in the center of her chest.
After a couple of weeks, I knew what most of her cries were. I could even tell when she was faking! Lol I even figured out how to make her smile and laugh when she is crying. There are those few nights when she will cry for a long time. The cries will get louder and louder. This mainly occurred between nine at night and midnight. I know she is sleepy, but she will not fall asleep unless I’m holding her. I slowly weened her off that by letting her stay in her bed. I learned that I didn’t want her to be so spoiled to the point where she couldn’t fall asleep on her own. If the cries are too much for me, I will let her stay in her bed, and step outside the room. I will check on her. I will also talk to her. I will let her know that everything will be okay. I will tell her to relax and she eventually falls asleep.
Learning her cries helped me cope a lot. I remained calm and gained patience. If crying is stressful, I can only imagine how it will be when she starts talking!