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Where Is My Baby’s Instruction Manual?

Mother with Crying babySpending day after day rocking, walking, bouncing and ultimately looking for the right way to handle your little bundle of joy so that they are happy can be quite overwhelming. For anyone that has experienced these problems, you will understand completely how you might feel frustrated, upset, or even that you might feel you have failed as a mother.

Personally there were many nights and days for that matter where no one was able to get any rest in our house. My second daughter cried from birth till about 2. She never had any ear infections, so the doctor just kept sending me home saying “mom, everything is fine stop worrying”.  It wasn’t until I took my husband in with me and he verified that our daughter was in fact crying uncontrollable for about a year by that point.  Once the doctor looked into the problem he diagnosed with water behind her ear drums.  This meant that since her birth she was in excruciating pain, and that she was not really “fine” as the doctor kept telling me. As her mother I knew something was wrong, and that is the important thing to understand about our story. You are the mother of your child and you understand them better than anyone.  When your mother’s intuition is yelling at you saying “mom, it is not okay” then go with your gut instinct.  Get a second opinion.

There must be as many theories on how to accomplish this as there are families.  Here are a few ideas and tips that we have put together from personal experience as well as from other experiences that we have heard from.

First there are many reasons why your baby could be crying or keeping you awake.  Some of these reasons are related to medical issues that your baby could be experiencing:

  1. Teething
  2. Ear infections
  3. Upset Tummy
  4. Cold/Flu
  5. and many others

Eliminating the most common reasons why your baby might be crying is very important before going to the doctor.  So let’s assume that your baby is crying for a non medical reason, here is a list of  reasons why your baby could be crying.

  1. Full diaper
    1. This one is an easy one to check so it is usually where people start
    2. Your baby might have a diaper rash that causes them to cry every time they try to go to the bathroom – Baby Butz Cream can help with that
  2. Hungry
    1. If you can’t smell them, this is a good second choice
    2. Often we can’t figure out if they are hungry or not, we try to figure out when they were fed last, and then try to reason as to why they would need to be fed so soon after.
    3. This one is easy to test though, if you offer to feed and they turn away, it wasn’t hunger
    4. Although some babies will feed while under duress for another reason, if they feed and then immediately start crying again… that wasn’t it either J
  3. Hot/Cold
    1. Check their hands, and their bodies to see what temperature they are.
    2. Babies are just small people and some like it cooler or warmer than others.
  4. Too much stimulation
    1. Has it been a very busy day? Perhaps busier than they are used to?
    2. Perhaps you need to turn down the lights, turn off the TV or the music
    3. Swaddling them tightly in a blanket can sometimes help to calm an over stimulated baby
  5. Picking up on the tension in the house
    1. Babies and children are very good at picking up on tension
    2. If it has been a very emotional day or if you have been in a high emotional situation all day your baby will probably pick up on it and it will make them uncomfortable
    3. See the ideas for over stimulation
  6. Bored
    1. Yes babies can get bored too
    2. Try to stimulate your child by playing with them
    3. Shake a rattle to get their attention, and try to engage them with their toys
    4. They may need you to dance and sing with them
  7. Upset Tummy
    1. If your baby is feeling gassy you can lay them on their backs and moving their legs as if they were riding a bicycle
    2. If the bicycle motion doesn’t work you can have them on their backs and with each of their feet in each of your hands try to carefully try to touch their toes to their nose.
    3. Massage your babies tummy around their belly button
  8. Generally uncomfortablewhat does the baby want
    1. Again because each person is different so are babies
    2. These can be the hardest to figure out, but they can relieve a lot of tension once you figure them out.
    3. They may not like:

i.      certain fabrics
ii.      tags on their clothing to touch them
iii.      wrapped too tightly or loosely
iv.      needing to be held tighter or looser
v.      rocked a certain way

One thing that you can count on is that you are not the only one who has received this beautiful gift without an instruction manual.  None of us were given such a book, and just because you were able to figure out the instructions with your first child, you probably can’t use that book to help you figure out any other child you may have in the future.  Fortunately for them, and unfortunately for us, each person is created uniquely.  The only thing we can do is embrace everything that makes them unique and celebrate it – even if it is not what you expected.

Do you have some other tips on how to help when dealing with a situation like this?  We would love for you to share your story by leaving your comments below.

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