1. Get Comfortable Comforting Your Baby
It will come naturally as you hold, rock, walk and calm your baby. Learn from the nurses, your partner, and mostly from your own experience.
2. Assemble Your Crying Hack Kit
Try some of the DEFCON based crying hacks, and after you see what works, invent your own.
3. Develop a Checklist On Why Your Baby Cries
Starting with the most common. A typical list might include:
Gas/Constipation/Dirty or Wet diaper/Diaper Rash/Frustration
Too hot/Too cold/ Needs to be held/Too noisy/Lonely
Too quiet/Bored/In Pain/Sick
Check each reason, ruling out problems as you try solutions, and then stick with what works.
4. Check for New Problems/Move on to New Techniques
Sometimes, crying is caused by random things like his finger may be bent back in his sleeve, a hair might be wrapped around his toe, or his clothing may be too tight. When current solutions lose their effectiveness, try new ones.
5. Getting Seriously Frustrated? Put Him Down and Walk Away
You need to be prepared for when this will happen, as it does for most new dads. Check out NewFamilies.com/dads for information and support.
“To calm my baby down, I’ll stand next to the dryer, washer or kitchen sink with the water running. If that doesn’t work, I will sing or turn the radio on. And if that doesn’t work, I’ll take her outside for a walk or go for a car ride.”
They typically start off slow the first week with a low “wah wah” cry and the frequency builds after two weeks and peaks at about 6-8 weeks. Then it starts dropping down and by 3-4 months, it’s down to normal crying for feedings, tired, can’t get back to sleep at night, etc., with meltdowns not starting until after six months. Just to make things interesting, no matter how easy your baby is, there may be times when she is screaming like a banshee.
Dealing with a seriously crying baby can add major stress and compound conflict between new moms and dads. It’s a good idea to have a talk with mom before the baby arrives about how you will handle the crying together. Having a game plan when you are both sleep deprived and your baby’s crying starts getting on your nerves will limit the frustrations you both will face.
“One time my wife left me with our baby, Madison, who wouldn’t stop crying. I panicked and decided to call my wife. Just before I punched "Call," I decided NO, I’m not going to call her. I put down the phone and started finding ways to calm Madison. A half-hour later she finally calmed down. It proved to be a real confidence builder for me.”