It happens every week or two. I have a bad day or night with the baby. He cries all day, won't take a nap, or he wakes up for a feeding and then won't go back to sleep. I get quite overwhelmed, but I get over it by the next day. I've already said three times that I was going to quit breastfeeding, but I talked myself out of it (with a little help from my husband). I wanted to share a few pieces of advice for what I do when I am feeling overwhelmed.
- Take a breather. You've been holding the baby for 30 minutes and he won't stop crying? Nothing's wrong, his diaper is clean, he's been fed...usually for my baby this just means he's really tired. This generally happens when I am also very tired. It won't kill your baby to be alone crying for a few minutes. Breathe. Lay him down in his crib and step away. It's better than getting frustrated. The baby can sense that and he will just get more upset.
-Use pacifiers! Some parents swear they won't use them because they will have to ween their kid off of them. My baby doesn't use his every nap time, but the times he is especially fussy I will give him a pacifier. Unfortunately with young babies you sometimes have to hold the pacifier in their mouth to get them to take it, but once my baby does he calms down pretty quickly.
-Other soothers - find something that works...rocking, singing, crib soothers like First Years Gentle Vibrations Crib Soother or Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Soothe and Glow Seahorse are the products that work great for my son. You will find what works and you'll feel quite relieved when it does.
-Ask for help! Whether it's pumping some bottles (if you're breastfeeding) so your husband can get up with the baby every once in a while for overnight feedings or simply asking your husband if he can hold the baby for a while to calm him down, don't feel like you need to do everything on your own! Ask for help! It's a good way to help Dad feel connected too since breastfeeding takes so much on your part.
-Pray! This is my number one! If I am feeling really overwhelmed, I pray for the Lord to give me the strength to carry on. I say a prayer every night that my little boy will have a good night, sleep well, eat well when he gets up. This does not make everything turn out perfectly, of course, but for the most part things have been pretty smooth. I have had a few setbacks, but I pray and sleep on it and then I feel better in the morning.
If you're feeling overwhelmed, what do you do?