Crying Anxiety in Mothers and Fathers
By , 26 Oct 2021
Being a new parent, whether it's your first child or not, you cover the basics... making sure your child is fed, clean, warm and happy.
Sometimes a child cries for none of these reasons other than to express their emotions or make themselves known. Persistent and constant crying can sometimes be grating and, for some parents, causes anxiety. Having an excessively crying infant or toddler can impair breastfeeding and increase feelings of loneliness and parental failure. (Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 2019).
As your child grows, bringing them out more increases the risk of crying in public. In a study, public places where parents felt most anxious and self-conscious of their child’s crying were planes, public transport, libraries or restaurants and cafes. These parents felt like they were under the disciplinary gaze of others (Annals of Tourism Research, 2014).
Much has been written about how a parent can calm a child be it co-sleeping, the cry it out method, soothing skin to skin contact or even white noise but... What about calming mothers and fathers who are feeling stressed from nurturing their crying child? What keeps you calm and in a good headspace?
Every child calming method varies in technique and results... Same goes with managing your emotions. Therefore, whatever and whichever way you choose that works and makes both child and parent happy then stick with it!
Tips to help with anxiety when your child is crying
- Take a break from baby and child monitors by switching them to a lower level or turning them off temporarily for a break (monitors can sometimes exaggerate the crying and may be turned up too loud)
- Take turns listening by either calling someone to help or getting your partner to assist while you leave the house and take time to sit in silence and calm down
- If the crying is persistent and over a longer length of time try and invest in a sleep specialist to investigate why it is occurring
- Meditate, take up yoga/pilates, practice mindfulness
- Investigate why your child is crying as it may be that they are sick (colic, croup)
- Exercise (the release of endorphins can better prepare you to deal with a crying child)
If you or anyone you know is feeling anxiety or sadness, here are a few helpful resources to view at your discretion.
Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA) | https://www.panda.org.au/
Uniting WA Parenting Support | https://unitingwa.org.au/services/families/parenting-support/
NGALA Helpline | Ph 9368 9368
To connect local mothers in a positive way, new groups will start appearing on Kids In Perth’s Facebook page including a Mother’s Group which offers a space for positive conversations and support.
How do you deal with crying anxiety as a parent?
Why not join in the conversation in our Facebook group.