Before I became a mom I was a nanny, so the sound of crying babies was nothing new. Still, I wasn't prepared for the emotional impact of your own child's continued crying. When your job is to care for an infant you can (kind of) be emotionally detached. I cared that the little baby in my charge was sad, but the sound of their distress didn't rip my heart out. Hearing your baby cry is a different story, and there are a bunch of things that go through every mom's mind when she can't get her baby to stop crying.
The scenarios that run through your mind will make you feel every emotion imaginable, from irritation to sadness to panic to absolutely everything in between. When I had my own child to care for I quickly realize that when he was sad, I was sad. So, when he was inconsolable, I suddenly forgot all my tips and tricks that had worked so perfectly with other babies. In a way, I was inconsolable until I could soothe my baby. Sometimes the best thing to do when your baby is in a crying fit is to pass the baby on to someone else and take a break. Babies can feel your distress and it doesn't help them to calm down, at all.
Believe me, if you have felt any of these things while your baby is crying, you are not alone. This mom thing isn't for the faint of heart, so whatever you're feeling when your babe is upset is valid and understandable.
"Are You Hungry?"
Every mom knows the struggle that is trying to console a baby that is ridiculously hungry. They desperately want some milk, but have become too upset to take it. So poor mom ends up trying to force their nipple or the bottle into the reluctant baby's mouth.
"Do You Need A Diaper Change?"
Time for the butt sniff and to check to see if your crying baby has dropped something stinky. If there's nothing for you to clean up, you can also try gently rubbing your baby's tummy to help soothe a gassy stomach that might be a cause of some discomfort.
"Are You Too Hot?"
If the cause of your baby's cries isn't immediately apparent and milk hasn't helped, this is usually when you need to start running through options. Is it too hot in here? Does your baby have too many clothes on? Then you'll start stripping all of your baby's clothes off, which will probably make him or her cry even louder.
"Are You Too Cold?"
Now that you have a naked screaming baby, you'll start panicking that they are too cold. Time to grab blankets and attempt to cuddle this little flailing creature trying to escape your arms.
"Are You Sick?"
At this point it's normal to panic a little and start to wonder if there might actually be something wrong with your baby. As a result, you'll probably obsessively check their temperature, which will upset them further, and Google their symptoms (which always yields alarming results and something I, personally, do not recommend).
"Why Don't You Like Me?"
After all of your efforts are met with continued cries, you might start to think this reaction is personal. I experienced more than a few moments when I interpreted my child's cries as a negative review of my parenting skills. Especially when he would even try to push me away or, infuriatingly, stop crying the moment someone else held him.
"Seriously, What's Wrong?"
Trying to reason with a crying infant is a futile exercise. However, you'll try to talk it out despite knowing you're going to receive limited results. Then again, sometimes talking in a low monotone voice can be soothing to a baby. Either read the financial news to them, or enlist someone with a boring voice. It can't hurt, right?
"Should I Call The Doctor?"
OK, now you start to get a little worried. You think" Maybe I should call the doctor?" but, of course, you don't want to seem like a paranoid new mom. Then again, what if something is actually wrong?
Yeah, this mom thing is tough, my friends.
"I Want My Mom"
If you trust your own mom's opinion, now might be the time to give her a call and get some advice. After failing to calm your baby down or get them to stop crying, you might need a hug yourself.
"Please Be Quiet..."
In my opinion, it's OK if you lose a little bit of your cool at this specific moment. This is the breaking point, so chances are high your head is pounding, you need rest and you're all out of ideas.
"...And Please Stop Crying"
Begging can work, right? Please baby, mommy loves you. Please, please, for the love of all that's good in the world please stop crying!
"How Does That Damn Song Go?"
"Why can't I remember his favorite song?" is a question I have asked myself on more than one occasion. I'd be humming and missing out words and it won't sound anything like the real thing.