Last Updated on October 19, 2021 by melissanreynolds
How on earth do you cope with a fussy baby when you have chronic pain and fatigue?
It’s hard enough to be a mama with a fussy baby, let alone when you’re sore and beyond exhausted. Having a new baby is a soul-stretching time, you find the bottom of your energy reserves. They require a lot of love, time, energy and guesswork.
Here are my tips to cope with a fussy baby when you are getting to the end of that tether.
When your baby is fussy and you can’t fix it (they’re not hungry, windy, have a dirty nappy etc.), and you’re beside yourself, give these suggestions a try:
- Sit on floor with them – play with them, distract them with every toy you can think of. This will buy you some time and give your (possibly) aching shoulders a rest from carrying baby.
- Sing or play lullabies and make it a dance party (even if you’re sitting).
- Wear them – my worst reflux babies were calmed by being worn and even when they weren’t it helped me to support their weight as I tried to relax them. Check out this post on Baby Wearing with Fibromyalgia.
- Bath time – water play can calm young ones right now. Get some bubbles and toys and go for it. You could even make the bath deep enough for you and get in with them. I used to leave the baby towel laid out on the bathmat ready for when we got out and put my dressing gown over my towel while I dress them.
- Take a gentle walk – if they’re soothed by the pushchair you can take a short walk. It might put them to sleep. Or at least give you some time off. You’ll also get the benefits of fresh air. If you can’t face a walk right now, or can’t take baby for a walk by yourself, walk up and down your driveway/garden. Babies love the outside.
- Jolly jumper – when they’re big enough this can buy you another 10 minutes. Or an activity center they can sit in. See my post on necessary baby items for suggestions.
- Rocking chair – when you’re too tired to jiggle and sway this is a lifesaver!
- Swaddle and lie down – when your reserves are at the end and you’re too sore to try the rocking, swaying or singing anymore, swaddle baby tightly and lie down. Whether they’re in their cot or with you in bed.
- Call in the cavalry – is there someone you can call for some help? Don’t make this number nine if you have the help, use it before you get to the end of your tether. You deserve help and you don’t have to cope alone (unless there is no other option).
If they’re not going to sleep or calming down and you need more rest, stay in bed for 15 minutes. You can’t care for the baby if you’re over your limit. Perhaps put on a guided meditation to follow for 10-15 minutes to supercharge the rest.
Affiliate notice: Please note some of my links are affiliate links and if you make a purchase using my link I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
If you want the full story of pregnancy and fibromyalgia and all I have learned (and researched – from the minimal existing sources) over four pregnancies then check out my book Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia.
Other posts for parenting with chronic illness:
And please remember it will pass. They will grow up and the inexplicable crying will pass. You’ll make it!
Let us know your tips to add to the list?