Nothing can prepare a new parent for the intensity and duration of cries from their newborn. I’ve heard countless babies cry in public and on planes, but once it’s your baby, it’s a different story. When my son was intensely crying, I could feel my heart rate rise and I’d start sweating. You just want to help, but when nothing seems to work, some people end up shaking their baby – which should NEVER be done. Shaken baby syndrome (SBS) is a very real and dangerous thing. I’ve even heard of exhausted and frustrated doctors (who clearly know better) that have almost shaken their baby to stop them from crying.
First and foremost, Dr. Harvey Karp’s five-step methods found in “The Happiest Baby on the Block” work wonders. We first watched his DVD but his book is also very good. It’s a great way to calm baby and reduce the chance of SBS.
The other great trick I discovered myself was to use earmuffs. When soothing my baby, the reduction in volume really helped me to remain calm while following Dr. Karp’s five-step method. These Howard Leight folding earmuffs worked wonders: