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Brave Little Baby

Coping with a Crying Baby

Coping with a crying baby can be hard and triggering. Especially if you are already anxious, tired and on edge.

Finding better sleep and coping with a crying baby with confidence and understanding can be really tricky. It’s only natural for a parent to want to run and identify the source of their infants’ frustration. Usually work through a series of eliminations until their child is back to their cheerful self.

Here you can find better sleep and navigate a crying baby with confidence and understanding.

Brave Little Baby

Let’s start off with this question, “Does a crying baby indicate an emergency?”

“Not all tears are a cause for alarm. While a crying baby can be distressing for parents, it doesn’t always indicate an emergency. Understanding your baby’s cues and needs can help differentiate between a typical cry and one that requires immediate attention can help cope you with a crying baby.

Trust your instincts and seek medical advice when necessary, we are not referring to a newborn baby with colic or reflux that is crying out of pain.

Just remember that some tears are a natural part of a baby’s development and emotional expression.”

Crying does not always indicate an emergency situation. Crying is not dying” in most cases.

Some of us are excellent at this, while others find it extremely difficult, as parents tend to their babies’ wants and cries while frequently putting their own needs to the side.

But, you ask yourself, “Isn’t that what parenting is really all about? This unconditional, selfless love?”

Although it’s crucial that you, as a parent, react appropriately to your infant and his or her needs. It forms an attachment while also establishing a solid foundation. You still need to keep a balance and be the best version of yourself too. 

How does one keep this connection intact when sleep deprivation becomes an issue and a baby is crying?

You’ve probably heard the term “independent sleep” thrown around if you’re looking for a solution to finding more sleep. A catch-22 situation may arise as a result of this. 

It’s possible that you and our child are so exhausted and that your baby is fussing and crying even while they’re in your arms trying to get them to sleep. They are over tired and you just feel like you cannot figure this sleep thing out?

You definitely feel like you need a break….

And let me tell you, if you don’t react the way you planned to or did, a bond or attachment with your child won’t just break at any point. Promise!!

So, Finding better sleep and coping with some crying is normal?

One of the hottest topics amongst parents is sleep and how to get more sleep without compromising this lovely bond that you have. And the BIG possibility that if you work on sleep that your baby might cry or even worse you would need to leave your baby to cry?

“I found myself rushing to my baby’s rescue whenever they seemed uncomfortable or on the edge of crying. There is something about the sound of crying that makes me JUMP. I began to feel very ill, I lost all faith in myself, my mental health suffered, and I am not sure how I survived this phase of my life. The lack of sleep and my desire to always be present for my child without crying was a tall task to keep up. In a survival haze, I began to really suffer.”

Sleep training did not only change our lives for the better, it established a stronger bond between me and my child and I never needed to leave my baby without responding to their emotions

Melissa

When your child is upset, you may experience feelings in your own heart, making you feel overwhelmed and out of control. It may even bring up memories you’d rather forget. It can be difficult to maintain a proper perspective at times.

When your little one is communicating with you through crying, it can be challenging to maintain your composure and provide the kind of comfort you’d like to offer and cope with the crying. 

Understanding Baby Cries: Distinguishing between Needs and Emergencies when sleep training

Babies cry for various reasons, and it’s not always a sign of distress or pain.

It’s their primary means of communication, and they use it to express a range of emotions, including hunger, discomfort, tiredness, and frustration. 

Can allowing my baby to cry not harm him/her physically, emotionally or cognitively?

Crying is a normal part of a baby’s growth and a natural way for them to communicate their needs and emotions.

While excessive crying can be uncomfortable for both the baby and the parents, it is unlikely to harm a baby’s attachment to their parent, harm the baby physically, emotionally or cognitively particularly if the parent is responsive and holding space for the baby and their emotions. 

When parents practice responsive parenting during sleep training/coaching or other situations that may involve some crying, it helps maintain a secure attachment with their baby. Being present, providing comfort, and showing care and reassurance during the process can contribute to the baby’s sense of safety and trust in their caregiver. This helps you and your baby cope with any intensity of crying.

Every baby is different, and parents should trust their instincts and choose an approach that aligns with their parenting style and their baby’s needs.

Seeking guidance from us as sleep experts can also provide valuable support and advice when navigating sleep training or any other aspect of parenting.
Book a free 15 min chat with our team

According to research, children who are allowed to express how they feel in the company and support of their parents can regulate and reason more quickly once all of their emotions are out of the way. Learning to feel all kinds of emotions, recognize them, and work through them is an ongoing process.

Janet Lansbury

So what about the crying and sleep training?

When we are attempting to build a loving boundary, for example working on establishing new sleep associations that a baby does not need any parental input.

Crying is one of the best ways for our baby to communicate that they are frustrated, overwhelmed, or simply do not like the change!

This is okay because it is part of the secure environment you are creating and implementing during sleep training/ coaching

One of these boundaries can be to work on better sleep for your child and your whole family. Sometimes during this process of sleep training/coaching, it can feel like you are withholding something from your child, and then the crying can really break your heart! 

We as parents play such an important role by showing our little ones that we have space for what they are feeling, and they are allowed to feel the frustration, we accept it and we are there to support them.

But the boundary is still in place, mom is still in control of the situation. By doing this, we as parents are acting as a positive buffer to help our little ones learn to self-regulate. 

Holding space for emotions means creating a supportive and non-judgmental environment for your child to express and process their feelings. It involves being present and attentive, allowing them to freely express their emotions without interruption or judgment. 

Here are some ways you can hold space for your child’s emotions during sleep training:

  1. Active listening: Give your full attention to your child and listen actively without interrupting or trying to offer immediate solutions. Show empathy and understanding by nodding, maintaining eye contact, and using verbal and non-verbal cues to indicate your attentiveness.
  2. Validate their emotions: Acknowledge and validate their feelings by expressing understanding and empathy. Let them know that their emotions are valid and that you are there to support them.
  3. Create a safe and non-judgmental space: Ensure that the baby feels comfortable and safe expressing their emotions. Avoid criticizing, judging, or minimizing their feelings. Let them know that it is okay to feel what they are feeling.
  4. Sometimes, children simply need to be heard and understood without any immediate solutions.
  5. Be patient and compassionate: Allow the baby to express their emotions at their own pace. Avoid rushing or pressuring them to move on from their feelings. Offer compassion and understanding throughout the process.
Remember that holding space for emotions requires empathy, patience, and an open mind. It is about providing support and creating a safe environment for your child to explore and express their emotions freely.

For those gentle mama’s still struggling with crying, you have a sensitive baby, you are struggling with post partum, want a take it easy approach without any sleep training : We have a solution for you too THE GENTLE SLEEP WAY

White noise is also a great tool to help a baby calm down

Conclusion

Working on finding a balance between sleep and coping with a crying baby. You do not need to worry about the short amount of  crying time your baby might experience during this sleep training/coaching process.

In fact, comforting and reassuring a baby’s cries might serve to deepen the bond between parent and child. When a baby cries and receives a reaction from a caregiver, he or she learns that they can rely on that person to meet their needs and create a sense of comfort and protection.

Parents should follow their intuition and ask for help.

Parents can sleep train while bonding with their child by balancing baby needs and self-care.

References:

Magda Gerber’s books: Dear Parent: Caring For Infants With Respect and Your Self Confident Baby: How To Encourage Your Child’s Natural Abilities From The Very Start

CALMS A Guide to Soothing Your Baby by Contey and  Takika

Janet Lansbury: Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting.

Aletha Solter: “What To Do When Your Baby Cries” and “Crying For Comfort – Distressed Babies Need To Be Held” from Aware Parenting

Patty Wipfler: “In Your Arms Crying Heals The Hurt” from Birthways Newsletter  

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