Surprise! Babies cry. I know this may come as a shock to you, but it is a fact nonetheless. However, a lesser-known fact is that many new mothers stop breastfeeding their babies because of crying.
It may go a little like this. My baby is not in pain. I’ve checked his diaper. He just nursed. I wonder if he got enough to eat. Maybe he is still hungry. Maybe I’m not producing enough milk. Many women have doubts about their milk production. Therefore at the first sign of any difficulties, these doubts surface. The fact is that less than 2% of women have milk production problems.
Ok, let’s just assume that you are part of the 98% that have no milk production problems. Your baby is still crying. A crying baby is not an easy sound to ignore. And your baby’s cries should not be ignored. After all, crying is the way your baby communicates with you. Society has led us to believe that if we pick up our baby every time he cries, you’ll spoil him. In fact, if you pick up your baby everytime he cries you will not be spoiling him. You’ll be teaching him that you are there for him. That he can depend on you to supply his needs. Babies get lonely also. Often times a young baby simply wants reassurance that you are still around. A few minutes in your arms and a few soft words may be all it takes to calm him.
What if he is still crying? Check out his clothing. Make sure nothing is poking him. Perhaps he is a little too cold or a little too warm. Simply wrapping him can be a great comfort to him. Other babies are calmed by white noise. Turn a fan on high or lay your baby underneath a ceiling fan to watch it go round. Our 20 month old still loves to watch a fan. Vacuum with the baby nearby. Or take the baby into the laundry room and turn on the dryer. Our oldest loved to sit in her bouncy seat on top of the dryer. Just remember to never leave your child unattended on any high surface.
Still, other babies are soothed by the usual tried and true methods. Rocking, being sung to or a gentle car ride may do the trick. If you have already tried everything and nothing works, not even more time at your breast, maybe he is overstimulated and just needs to wind down.
If you can’t calm your baby right away, don’t take it personally. Chances are it has nothing to do with you or your breastmilk. What worked yesterday may not work today. Remain calm and remember “this too shall pass”.