The trouble comes when nothing works - Woodmam

Estimates are that one out of every five babies has repeated bouts of terrible fussiness—for no apparent reason. That adds up to almost one million sweet new babies born in the U.S. each year who suffer from hours of red-faced, eyes-clenched screaming.

This is why parents of unhappy babies are such heroes! A baby’s scream is an incredibly heart-wrenching sound. Bone-tired and bewildered moms and dads lovingly cuddle their frantic babies for hours, trying to calm them, yet the continued crying can corrode their confidence: “Is my baby in pain?” “Am I spoiling her?” “Does she feel abandoned?” “Am I a terrible mother?”

Confronted by this barrage, sometimes the most loving parent may find herself pushed into frustration and depression. A baby’s unrelenting shrieks can even drive desperate caregivers over the edge—into the tragedy of child abuse.

Exhausted parents are often told they must wait for their babies to “grow out of it.” Yet most of us feel that can’t be right. There must be some way to help our babies.

I’m going to show you how.

Help Wanted: Who Do New Parents Turn to

When Their Baby Cries a Lot?

Although a network of clinics and specialists exists to help mothers solve their infant’s feeding problems, there is little support for the parents of screaming babies. That’s unfortunate because while the urge to quiet a baby is instinctual, the ability to do it is a skill that must be learned.

Today’s parents have less experience caring for babies than any previous generation. (Amazingly, our culture requires more training to get a driver’s license than to have a baby.)

That’s not to say that inexperienced moms and dads are abandoned. On the contrary, they’re bombarded with suggestions. In my experience, America’s favorite pastime is not baseball but giving unasked-for advice to new parents. “It’s boredom.” “It’s the heat.” “Put a hat on him.” Or “It’s gas.”

It can be so confusing! Who should you believe?

In frustration and concern, parents often turn to their doctor for help. Studies show that one in six couples visit a doctor because of their baby’s persistent crying. When these babies are examined and found to be healthy, most doctors have little to offer but sympathy. “I know it’s hard, but be patient; it won’t last forever.” Advice like this often sends worried parents to look for help in baby books.

Parents of colicky babies spend hours scanning books for “the answer” to their infant’s distress. Yet, often the advice can be equally confusing: “Hold your baby—but be careful not to spoil him.” “Love your baby—but let him cry himself to sleep.”

Even these experts confess that for really fussy babies, they have nothing to offer:

Very often, you may not even be able to quiet the screaming.

What to Expect the First Year, Eisenberg, Murkoff, and Hathaway

The whole episode goes on at least an hour and perhaps for three or four hours.

Your Baby and Child, Penelope Leach
It’s completely all right to set the baby in the bassinet while trying to drown out the noise with the running water of a hot shower.

The Girlfriend’s Guide to Surviving the First Year

of Motherhood, Vicki Iovine

But a hot shower is cold comfort for the parents of a screaming baby.

Many exhausted parents I meet have been persuaded, against their better judgment, that they can only stand by and endure their baby’s screaming. But I tell them otherwise. Unhappy babies can be calmed—in minutes!
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