UNDERSTANDING THE INCONSOLABLE CRYING THAT MAKES US PARENTS SO ANXIOUS.
Crying in the evening, inconsolable, incomprehensible … What’s going on?
Managing the baby’s crying in the first few months is not always easy.
Mathilde confides her difficulties in accepting and understanding her baby’s crying.
After an ideal pregnancy, Leo finally arrived. This was my first baby and despite my apprehension, everything was going well. During the 4 days in the maternity ward I got to know him, I was able to rest and receive a lot of advice from the midwives. Feeding patterns and sleep, how to manage the toilet … I was ready to go home and face our new life.
The first few weeks went smoothly. My baby was calm, he drank his bottle calmly and according to the amounts indicated for his age, he put on weight, he slept a lot. We were delighted to see his first smiles. It was the calm before the storm!
When Leo was 2 months old, he started crying a lot at night. These episodes set in and turned into long periods of crying until late at night. We were all suffering from lack of sleep.
Every evening, for many weeks, Leo seemed to be suffering, his face turning red, his fists clenched, his forehead wrinkled … only cuddling and the pacifier sometimes manage to calm him down.
I was asking myself a thousand questions. Was he hungry? Apparently not, because he started crying shortly after feeding. Was he suffering from digestive discomfort, then? I made sure he never had a dirty nappy, that he was not too hot or too cold or that his clothes were not too tight. Was it fear? I didn’t understand why he was so anguished.
I was convinced that he was in pain, and I was very anxious. The paediatrician was not worried, Leo was not suffering from reflux, constipation or milk intolerance … There was nothing serious. He didn’t have any illness. He told me it would pass.
Despite the reassuring comments about Leo’s health, I felt helpless and exhausted. I was dreading the evenings because I couldn’t stand his crying any more. I felt I couldn’t go on coping with endure such an ordeal, I wondered about my love for him, and whether I could be a good mother.
I just needed to be told what Leo’s crying meant and when it would stop. I needed to understand. Today Leo’s crying has stopped and everything is back to normal.
Recently, I discovered an interesting approach to understanding a baby’s crying. This method, developed by Priscilla Dunstan, would have helped me a lot at the time and should be able to help many parents.
For example, we learn that the sound “Neh” means “I’m hungry” in the newborn, or that from 6 months of age, the baby complains of having gas in his stomach by saying “Eairh”.
Here is an overview of this method: