When it comes to crying, some babies have impressive endurance. Seriously, some nights it feels like the wailing will never stop. So what happens to your baby's body when they cry for a long time? It sounds exhausting, if nothing else.
For better or worse, babies are sort of designed to cry. Generally, Mayo Clinic noted that a longtime crying jag won't hurt your baby. Sometimes, the best course of action is allowing your child to wail. That being said, Baby Center noted that if your baby is colicky and prone to endless bouts of crying, they may develop a hoarse voice. (Hoarser, but somehow not quieter.) For the most part, crying does not seem to have any immediate negative effects on your baby.
There is, however, some speculation about the long-term effects of prolonged crying jags. According to the website for Dr. Sears, babies are exposed to higher levels of adrenaline and stress hormones during these moments of distress. The potential effects of these hormones on your baby's growth is still under study, but there is some evidence that it may have adverse affects on the brain's development. If your baby's longtime crying jags are giving you real concern, then a visit to your pediatrician may be in order.
With that in mind, it's helpful to know some tips for soothing a crying baby. There are always those times when the baby just needs to cry, and no amount of shushing or rocking will amount to any peace. But for your own sake, at least, it's reassuring to have a few tricks up your sleeve. In general, dimming the lights, putting on some white noise, and cuddling your baby can go a long way toward calming those cries, as noted in the website for Parents. It may feel weird to draw the shades and run your vacuum for no reason at 3 in the afternoon on a Saturday. But hey, you do what you have to.
That said, self care is also important during this time. According to The Huffington Post, it's crucial to watch your anxiety levels and take a break when you need one. Call a friend, get someone else to watch the baby, or do whatever else you need to do to chill out a bit. One day your baby won't cry so much, and this phase will just be an ear-splitting memory.