16 Surprising Aspects Of Caring For A Newborn Baby


There have been times when I couldn't soothe my own baby, and it's absolutely terrible.

When Ellie was 5 weeks old, we moved in with my family for a month to get out of town and have an extra helping hand. Around the same time, things got really, really tough. For about three weeks, Ellie had a really hard time settling down. Everything I read online said newborn fussiness peaked around this time, but “difficult” didn't really seem to describe the situation. “Hysterical” or “inconsolable” would have been more appropriate, especially during the constant witching hours of 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Around week 7, I called the pediatrician to ask if Ellie might have colic, but was told she was just a newborn. Classic mom for the first time here!

I needed to be reminded again and again that babies cry…a lot. It's their only way to express themselves. Whether they want to tell you that they are tired, hungry, hot or cold, or have a stomach ache, crying is their only way of communicating.

And here's the thing: there's nothing more unpleasant than not being able to soothe your own baby. And on top of that, every minute your baby cries seems exponentially longer. I remember my husband and I timed one of his tantrums before bedtime. I could have sworn she cried for two and a half hours straight, but according to the clock it only lasted 15 minutes. The rules of time don't apply when you're trying to calm a crying newborn, especially when nothing you do works. These were definitely some of the hardest times of motherhood.

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