A few basics to check before you start to get too frustrated:

  1. Is the baby wet?
    Check the baby’s diaper and change it if it’s wet.
  2. Is the baby hungry?
    Try feeding the baby.
  3. Is the baby too hot or too cold? 
    Maybe you just need to add or remove a layer of clothing.
  4. Is the baby tired? 
    When was the baby last asleep? Has the baby been awake for longer than usual or has the baby’s sleep been interrupted or lighter than usual?
  5. Are you feeling stressed?
    If you can, give the baby to someone else to hold for awhile. When you feel stressed, your baby senses it, so giving the baby to someone who is calmer may help you both calm down.

If the crying continues, click here for video clips of calming techniques.

Take Care of Yourself

Try to get enough sleep. Getting enough sleep is really important. If possible, sleep when your baby sleeps. Make sure your baby is safe – in a crib or bassinet – and then find a quiet place were you can nap, too. Or ask a trusted friend or family member to watch the baby so you can get some rest.

Have a backup support system if you can.  Get together a group of trusted friends and family members who will care for the baby now and then, so that you can take a break.  Time away from the baby can be good for everyone -- you get a break; the baby gets to  spend time with someone who cares about the baby and that caregiver gets a chance to spend time with this wonderful new addition to the family.  Chances are you’ll come back to the situation with a better feeling about yourself and your baby.

Leave instructions for the caregivers

When other people take care of your baby, let them know exactly what to do if the baby gets fussy.  Give them a phone number where they can reach you, as well as emergency numbers (fire, police, and emergency services).  But most importantly, let them know it’s all right to call you if the situation is too stressful for them to handle.

Checklist for Caregivers

Michelle’s Top Ten List

Here’s an idea you might try. One mother made a list (and put it on the refrigerator) so the baby’s father would know exactly what to do when he was caring for their son when she’s at work.

Watch video.

As you and your baby get to know each other, it will get easier.  You can make it through this tough time.

And remember… the crying won’t last forever.