Troublesome Baby Toolkit

baby-toolkitAll babies cry, poop, scream and generally fuss. But when my neighbor told me about her baby, the situation sounded a little more difficult than typical babies. This little guy was giving her such a tough time during her maternity leave that she felt relieved to go back to work a few months later. He was a crier, and she was scared to leave the house. He gave her trouble with everything from breastfeeding to pooping to sleeping. She was exhausted and approaching post-partum depression. He was what I like to affectionately refer to as a “troublesome baby.” He didn’t mean to cause her so much worry and frustration, but she and the baby were going through a tough stage together.

One day, after another sleepless night, she brought her adorable little guy (who was totally unaware of his mommy’s frustrations) over for a visit. We had a long conversation about what to do with a challenging baby, and here are my top suggestions for your ‘Troublesome Baby Toolkit’:

Get out of the house.
Bring your baby to a local craft store, one that is sure to be full of little old ladies. Let these ladies fuss over your baby as you browse the store. Grandma-types are sure to tell you how cute your baby is, and if you hear it twenty-five times while in the store, you will certainly start to see their point by the time you take your little crier home.

Give him a bath.
You know how a shower resets your day, and makes you feel refreshed? Your baby probably feels the same way. Play with him in the bath, give him a lotion-filled massage after and put him in some clean clothes. (Don’t forget that this one works for you, too!).

Have a dance party.
You might feel ridiculous, but turning on some upbeat music and dancing with your baby will put a smile on both of your faces. Plus it gets your heart pumping!

Call in reinforcements.
Ask your mom, mother-in-law, neighbor or even a paid babysitter for a few hours off. Let them take care of your little cutie while you browse the aisles of Target, get a haircut or read a book at the local coffee shop. You’d be surprised how much cuter your baby is after a few hours away.

Join a support group.
This can be a breastfeeding group, a new mom’s group, a playgroup or a church group. The point is just to touch base with other mom’s going through the same stage of life, preferably on a weekly basis. You’ll enjoy getting out of the house for this, and nobody will think twice when your little one has a diaper blowout in the middle of your social time.

Join a gym that has babysitting.
It may be hard to leave your little one at first, but start with just 20 minutes. Grab a treadmill or elliptical and get those endorphins pumping. You’ll feel refreshed when you scoop up your cutie after a good workout. I’ve also seen moms drop of their babies, get a smoothie and read a book. I definitely endorse that theory as well.

Dress your baby up and take an adorable photo.
You’ll have to smile when you see what your little sweetie looks like in dress clothes, and you’ll cherish these photos—even the non-professional ones—later. Bonus points to you if you play dress up for each holiday.

Go to Storytime.
Many local libraries have infant storytimes. These are designed to engage your baby with songs, puppets, fingerplays and movement. The best part is that you can meet other moms and take these songs home. You can observe which songs interest your baby, and you can put them in your toolkit for later!

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About This Blogger

Erica Davis

Erica Davis is a new stay-at-home mom to her active toddler, Claire. Erica and her husband are hoping to adopt and are eagerly waiting for an opportunity to arise. Erica enjoys summer sunshine, hilarious conversation, creative restaurants, adventurous new recipes, being a mommy, celebrating with champagne and curling up with a good book.