If you have a colicky baby, you may feel frantic with all the crying. Our parenting expert and author, Katherine Gordy Levine, in her book, Parents are People Too is sharing 10 ways to survive the crying. Let's hear her wise advice.
Dealing with a Crying Baby
1. Wear ear plugs.
2. Learn lots of self-soothing exercises. (Many are found in this book.)
3. Don't blame the baby; she can't help it.
4. Don't blame yourself; you are doing the best you can.
5. Don't blame anyone. Well, take a few pot shots at Mom and Pop Nature.
6. Sleep whenever you can. Sleep deprivation is a recognized form of torture. Priorities at this stage of the game should be feeding yourself, feeding your baby, changing her, and sleeping. Any damage done by not attending to other "duties" can be undone once you can get back on a schedule.
7. When your baby cannot be comforted, and you have done all the things parents do to comfort babies, put her in her crib, let her cry, and go as far away from the sound of her screams as you can after making sure she is safe. Take a shower; play music.
8. Arrange time away from the baby. Hire help if you can afford it. Ask for and use all available help to set this up.
Call your parents. Call your friends. Swap whatever you can swap in terms of chores; do their ironing. If they have a baby, take care of their baby one day and then have them take care of yours the next. (Every neighborhood should have a drop-in and drop-off center for parents of babies who are being pushed over the edge.
Twelve hours of sleep works wonders; twenty-four hours alone works minor miracles. (If no one else can help, go to the local child welfare agency. Even temporary foster care is better than abuse.)
9. If you are being pushed toward becoming abusive, double the efforts described above. If you are alone and friendless, go to a neighborhood church or synagogue. Ask their women's group to help.
10. Don't worry that your baby will hate you, blame you, or be damaged because you can't comfort her. She won't remember. All she really needs during these first six months of life is to be kept clean, warm, fed regularly, held when fed, carried, and played with occasionally. (Pages 97-98)
Having had a colicky baby, I know the frustration mother's feel. I like the ear plugs, the self-soothing exercises, the showers, and the asking for help that Katherine offers.
I remember when my husband came home from graduate school, I couldn't even greet him. I just left the apartment and went for a long long walk. Only then could I come home with a sense of equilibrium.
Katherine actually gives much more hope and advice for parents of colicky babies in her book. To find out more:
Available at Amazon.com
Let's give PRAISE to Katherine Gordy Levine, MSS for her understanding book with its many ways to help parents survive and feel emotionally fit.
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