Is Your Baby Cranky?
We’ve chatted before about cranky toddlers, but babies?
Can parents encourage babies to be cranky?
Since you asked, I’ll give you my humble opinion — which almost everything online is that — opinion.
In short, yes.
I totally believe our parenting style affects our child’s attitude and happiness levels.
If you’re constantly serenaded by demanding (not painful) cries — we’re talking morning, noon and night — I can totally relate.
You see, I had a cranky baby.
In fact, I’d love to share with you how I created a cranky baby — but learned from my mistakes.
Before I realized that my mothering style was costing me sleepless nights, unpredictable days, stressful shopping trips and dark circles under my eyes, I wondered if the “cranky baby” stage would ever end.
I assumed all babies were cranky like mine.
I was very young when I had my first child and ill-prepared for motherhood.
I thought I was doing everything right when I would jump the tallest building to come to the rescue of the tiniest whimper of my beautiful, bundle of joy.
But he was constantly fussy.
He cried in the morning.
He cried in the day.
He cried at night.
In fact, it is hard for me to recall times he wasn’t crying.
Ok, now I remember.
He wasn’t crying when he was sleeping or eating.
That’s about it.
Now, I do know that there are babies with health, and colic issues.
I’m not talking about those painful screams that are coming from a baby who cannot communicate pain and discomfort in words.
I have seen close friends struggle in that area until they were able to find the correct infant formula, gas drops, or natural remedies to cure the pain.
And if you’re in that situation, my heart goes out to you!
But, once infants have passed the “colic” zone of three or four months and are habitually discontent, it may help to re-evalute your mothering style.
In fact, it may change your mothering style for good — at least it did mine!
Ask yourself these “cranky baby” questions — and if you’re really wanting some help with your cranky baby, you need to be honest.
I’m finding that honesty among moms is rare these days.
But, let’s make a new trend and start today with being honest with ourselves!
Anyway, back to the cranky baby test!
Cranky Baby Test for Parents
- Is your baby demanding?
- Does he wake up every single night — sometimes multiple times? (excluding babies under three months of age)
- Are you unable to take him on outings because of his behavior?
- Have people labeled your baby “the screaming baby”?
- Is your baby crying if he is not in a snugli, being held, being rocked or eating?
- If your honest answers to most of these questions is yes, you may have a cranky baby on your hands.
Ok, so your baby won the title of “cranky baby.”
So glad you asked!
Three Simple Changes to Help Cranky Babies
How to Help a Cranky Baby #1: Establish a routine.
That one word totally changed my mothering style and helped me raise five more happy babies — it worked with all six of my babies, and it can work for yours too!
Now routines are not for careless, unintentional people.
No, to begin a routine you have to be consistent and dedicated.
Not sure where to start?
I’ve got an amazing resource for you that’s waaaaay more in depth than any blog post would be!
It has sample routines for babies ages six weeks to five years old.
It has loads of printables to keep you on track and it’s written by two, amazing, well-experienced moms.
I’ve read it.
And I really, really wish someone had given me this book 14 years ago when sleep was only a distant memory.
What’s inside the eBook?
16 chapters of easy to implement routines, rhythms and schedules from birth through school-aged kids to help you streamline day-to-day life with kids.
In chapter one you’ll get sample schedules for all ages listed above.
In chapter two you’ll get tips for managing the day with multiple children, tips for keeping kids busy and printables.
Chapter three includes 20 printable routines, rhythms and schedules so you can easily start applying what you’ve learned!
How to Help a Cranky Baby #2: Relax.
Your tone and body language affects your baby.
Your baby is this beautiful, tiny human who can sense when parents are stressed.
Find a way to de-stress so that your baby’s waking moments are filled with a non-tense parent.
I know this is easier-said-than-done, but it is possible.
Even during your tough days.
Focusing on your baby and her perfect little nose, her cuddles, and her cute new babbles and coos can help you forget difficulties in life and focus on your little one.
This is her life.
And focusing on her happiness will help YOU be happier and less stressed!
How to Help a Cranky Baby #3: Get Rest.
I know once your baby is asleep you want to do all the household chores and tasks!
Or you want to watch a movie.
But use that precious time to rest.
No, I’m not telling you to “sleep when the baby sleeps.” but rather make sure you get enough rest on a daily basis.
A well-rested parent is a better help and better equipped to deal with a cranky baby.
When you’re better rested, you’ll be able to clearly think so you can analyze your baby’s specific needs as well as her frustrations.
Figure out how you can truly get your daily rest.
A few things have helped me rest better as a busy mom:
- Turning off screens 45 minutes before bedtime.
- Investing in a really good pillow like this one.
- Sleeping with a weighted blanket.
- Sleeping in a colder temperature.
- Using blackout curtains in my bedroom.
- Avoiding caffeine after 2 PM.
I hope one of those ideas help you get better rest at night!
Need More Help with Raising a Happy Baby?
Find support in our free, Parents Connect group on Facebook!
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