Week 5 Brain Booster
Since you now know that your baby will likely cry anywhere from 30 minutes to three hours a day, prepare yourself for it. Remind yourself (or your partner) that there's no need to be alarmed; that crying is what babies do, and that most parents—with time, patience, and practice—are usually able to determine what their baby needs to end the bouts of crying.
Most cries signify hungry or a need for comfort, through holding, gentle caressing, and sitting and rocking. If this doesn't do the trick, lift Baby to your shoulder and gently bounce or rock her or walk around. Next, try swaddling, and have the pacifier handy. Then talk softly, play rhythmic sounds, or sing. Another option? Massage your infant, head to toe. Sometimes you'll need to multitask, so try out different combinations until you find which works today.
It's important to watch your own emotions, stress level, hunger, and fatigue. When feeling overwhelmed, you're less able to determine and attend to your child's needs. If you're feeling this way, call your partner, mother, sister, or trusted friend or neighbor who can hold the baby, while you have a snack and take a rest. (Don't call on anyone who will bombard you with advice or make you feel even guiltier.) If you don't have someone available to help out, make sure your baby is well fed, then put her in her bed, feed yourself, and lie down for a few minutes. Then, return to your baby. Most likely the crying will have stopped, and you'll both feel calmer.
Your Week 5 Toolbox
Related skills and topics this week include …
Curious about how else Baby might be developing right now? Learn more about her brilliant brain and her growing body here: