16 Surprising Aspects Of Caring For A Newborn Baby

16 Surprising Aspects Of Caring For A Newborn Baby


There were times I couldn’t soothe my own baby, and that feels absolutely terrible.

When Ellie was five weeks old, we moved in with my family for a month to get out of the city and have some extra helping hands. Around this same time, things got really, really hard. For about three weeks, Ellie was very hard to settle. Everything I read online said newborn fussiness peaks around this time, but fussy didn’t quite seem to describe the situation. Hysterical or inconsolable would have been more appropriate, especially during the consistent witching hours of 5:00–7:00 p.m. Around week seven, I called the pediatrician to ask if Ellie might have colic, only to be told that she was just being a newborn baby. Classic first-time mom over here!

I needed to remind myself over and over again that babies cry…a lot. It’s their only way of expressing themselves. Whether they want to tell you they’re tired or hungry or hot or cold or have a belly ache, crying is their only method of communicating.

And here’s the thing: There is nothing that sucks more than not being able to soothe your own baby. And on top of that, every minute your baby is crying feels exponentially longer. I remember my husband and I once timed one of her pre-bedtime fits. I would have sworn she was crying for 2.5 hours straight, but according to the clock, it was only 15 minutes. The rules of time don’t apply when you’re trying to calm a crying newborn, especially when nothing you’re doing is working. These were certainly some of the hardest moments of motherhood.

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