For today’s letter T in the #AtoZChallenge, I had a lot of options for words that I could blog about. Truth, Time Management and Tastes are just three of the ideas that I played around with in my head all day. But, then I decided that there was one word that stood out from the rest. The one that accompanies every new mom throughout her day.
Yes, you guessed it. Tears.
There are a lot of theories that revolve around tears. The baby is crying to manipulate you. Tears are just baby’s version of poetry. Allowing them to cry and try hard is important for them to learn. Crying longer than 10 seconds will scar the for life and make them insecure human beings. Crying improves a baby’s lungs. These are just a few of them.
I am not going to comment on how true each of these theories are. But, all of them have one thing in common. As soon as the baby cries, the mother (or caregiver’s) brain is in instant turmoil.
Either you are worried that the baby is crying because he is sick or hurt or you are irritated that the baby is crying no matter what you are doing to pacify him/her (A great read at this point would be Being Mama Bear’s excellent list of why babies cry). The thing is, crying babies are as inevitable as labour pain – there is no avoiding it. Heck, I am almost thirty and I still feel that a good cry is all I need when I am frustrated beyond belief. So, I get it why a tiny being that is dependent on you for each and every thing may leak tears every few hours.
What needs to change is our reaction to those tears. Instead of getting hot and bothered with worry, we need to just take a deep breath and stay calm. But ofcourse, you already knew that. Literally every book you ever read about babies tells you that. And so, you also know that saying you should be calm and actually being calm when someone is crying at full volume in your ear are two completely different things.
So then, how do you cope? Well, with a grand total of six months crying experience under my belt (I may look back on this and laugh when my baby becomes a Threenager ) I am proud to say I’ve come up with my very own 3D method of coping with the dreaded tears, especially with infants.
When any baby (or adult) cries we all immediately want to know why. In babies especially, diagnosing the problem gets you 3/4 of the way to stopping the tears and therefore stopping the god forsaken noise. Luckily, small babies have simple needs and you just need to run through a quick list. Food, Warmth/Cold, Burp, Clean Diaper, Sleep or Quick 2 min walk out in the open will resolve 80% of the issues. If these don’t solve it, then work hard at diagnosing what it could be.
When I am unable to diagnose the problem, what works for me is to discuss. Discussing the problem like a rational adult with a baby is not going to yield too many results, I hear you thinking. But, if you actually discuss this aloud with your baby, what does happen is that a reason may click into place into your own head on why the baby is crying. Case in point, M was howling away the other day and I had already tried all the above. It’s only when I was talking aloud to him that I realized I had forgotten to put on his teething gel and ergo he was crying due to aching gums. This method solves another 10% of the crying
Every now and then, you will try all of this and yet the tears continue to flow. The other day, M cried intermittently for 5 hours straight each time I put him down from my arms. I had tried diagnosing and I had tried discussing but nothing seemed to work. In this instance, your only solution is to distract. Please be smart and don’t use a toy or any childish thing to distract. What works is adult things they are not meant to touch. I now have an empty wet wipes packet I’ve reserved for said distraction. Other tools that also work like magic are my mobile specifically, the TV and phone wires that no longer work (Disclaimer- under adult supervision only). Hugs with mom work like magic too.
So there you have it. My brilliant 3D method to coping with all the tears. Nothing rocket science ofcourse. But sometimes, simple is all that’s needed. And the next time those cute yet noisy tears get you down, remember one thing. You cried a lot when you were small too yet you turned out perfectly normal. So just stay calm and wipe those tears!