When you feel those waves of emotion hitting you, take a long, deep breath.
When our anxiety is triggered, adrenaline is rushing through our body, screaming to our brain that we need to enter our fight-or-flight response mode. That’s why it’s so important to calm this response down before the panic sets in.
So close your eyes. Imagine you’re sitting in your favorite peaceful spot. And take a few deep breaths. Inhale through the nose to the count of three, then slowly exhale through the mouth to the count of four. This activates a chemical in your brain to calm your nervous system down.
Once the panic has subsided, you’ll be able to think more clearly, assess the situation, and make better decisions.
There’s no shame in it. Sometimes it’s as simple as you just need some space.
So first things first, make sure that your baby is in a safe place and that they’re not hungry or need a change. Then head to a quiet space where you can give yourself a sensory break. This involves turning off the lights and just sitting in silence for a few minutes.
You need time and space to calm down. And with your baby completely safe for a few minutes, they’ll be greeted by a mom who’s calmer, less quick-tempered, and able to deal with the situation at hand. If you are a mom who is more sensitive to stimuli such as bright lights and loud noise, give yourself those quiet moments even if your baby isn’t crying. It will set you up nicely for when your baby does start to cry.
- Make sure your needs are met too
Feeling like you’re running on empty? You’re not alone. Every parent is right there with you. But it’s important to make sure that you’re set up with the right fuel to manage challenges throughout the day. So make sure that you’re checking in on yourself.
Are you getting the right nutrition? Make sure that you’re getting at least one meal per day that is rich in fruit and vegetables. Are you getting enough exercise? Moving gets those endorphins flowing and works wonders for your overall mental wellbeing.
Sleep is also a huge factor (and getting enough of it can often seem impossible, especially for new moms). But maybe try to fit a nap in wherever you can, or let someone else take over for 30 minutes while you rest. You'll thank yourself in the long run.
Ever wanted to take the edge off the noise of parenting? Just a tiny bit? Let’s face it, a baby's cry is loud, even reaching up to 120 dB, which is similar levels to a jet plane taking off.
Noise-reducing earplugs can help you take the edge off the noise, avoid sensory overload, and help minimise your chances of burnout.
Loop Engage are earplugs that limit the volume of parenting life by reducing noise levels by up to 16 dB. With a patented acoustic channel and a newly engineered filter, they’re 100% safe to wear while looking after children. Don't worry, you’ll still be able to hear everything you need to, just less loud. They’re also ultra-comfortable and flexible, and fit into all types of ears.
Don’t be afraid to tell people how you’re feeling – your feelings matter in all of this. It’s OK to ask for a break; all new parents deserve all the support they can get in this crazy time of adjustment.
Whether it’s a friend, family member, or a healthcare professional, take the time to talk. It really helps. A professional can help you work through your feelings around your baby crying and create a plan that specifically works for you.
- Do something non-baby related
Ask yourself, when was the last time you did something just for you?
So schedule it in. The thing is it has to be something that makes you happy (as long as it’s not baby-related).
And do it guilt-free. It might seem hard to tear yourself away but you (and your baby) will feel better for it and you’ll feel like a calmer parent.
It’s time for some positive talk. You’re going through a tough time with a hard transition. You’ve got a baby that’s depending on you for everything and it can be hugely overwhelming at times. So make sure that you give yourself a lot of compassion.
No parent knows what they’re doing 100% of the time. We’re all learning as we go.
- Remember that crying is natural
Every baby cries. It’s natural and healthy. And your baby crying does not mean that you’re a bad parent – it’s just not always easy to deal with a crying baby.
Crying is your baby’s natural form of communication and they’re just trying to let you know that they’re there. Your tears are natural and healthy too. In fact, crying is a natural healing mechanism for stress (which babies come already equipped with). Tears help to restore the body’s chemical balance following stress – Solter.
The thing is, we would worry if a baby didn’t cry. No infant in the history of the world has been raised without it. So when it seems like the crying has been going on forever, or you're soothing away the tears for the tenth time that night, remember that it's a completely normal and natural part of their development.