The toughest part about taking care of a newborn is their inability to indicate what they want. After a while, the body adjusts to handle the late nights and the diaper accidents, but the crying is what really gets me. They’re so helpless and all they can do is cry regardless of whether they’re hungry, tired, fussy, gassy or bored. I know there are theories that suggest one can easily tell what the baby needs from the type of cry but 2 kids in, I’m still as clueless as ever. It all sounds the same to me and every time Kirsten cries, it’s all a matter of trial and error. Mostly error, which then leads to me being on trial.
With a toddler, it so much easier because they can point to the object of their desire and it’s pretty obvious what they want. Tru has this way of grabbing my hands to do his bidding as if they’re an extension of his own. He also grabs my face if he wants my attention. Life is much simpler when I get him and he gets me.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to infants. Whenever she starts screaming, it’s “take it from the top” time. I’ve got a checklist that I run through in order of importance to eliminate all the options until I find out what’s the cause of her displeasure.
1. Hungry. This is the top of the list for my little milk drinking machine. 70% of the time, she cries out of hunger, and milk quickly solves the problem.
2. Dirty diaper/nappy rash. If milk doesn’t solve the problem, check the diaper for poop.
3. Gassy. The solution is simple – burping, but it sometimes takes a helluva long time. I can pat her back for 45 minutes and still not hear that elusive burp. Believe me, at 4 in the morning, it’s sheer torture.
4. Sleepy. If the crying is due to sleepiness, Chucky will usually surface within a couple of minutes. Her eyeballs will start rolling up to the top of her head, leaving only the whites. Oh so cute.
5. Too hot. Bring on the air-conditioning.
6. Too cold. Bring on the blankets.
7. Sick. This is a tough one. The obvious signs are fever, coughing, sneezing, runny nose or diarrhea, which should be checked by the PD asap.
8. In pain. Sometimes her little fingers get caught in the crib or Tru jabs her too hard in the face. A little kissing should make the boo-boos go away in no time.
9. Bored. It’s time to bring on the juggling and fire-eating. Very excite.
10. Fussy. This is the absolute killer. When all the above fails, it usually means she’s in one of those legendary fussy moods where nothing works. This can last anything from 10 minutes to 2 hours. Even more excite.
Studies show that the sound of a baby’s cry causes one’s blood pressure to increase tremendously. Especially for mothers, it’s the most distressing thing to hear. MAKE. IT. STOP!