Parenting the first year is stressful. Although there is nothing more wonderful than your baby; there is little more baffling at times than your baby. The following excerpt from “Parenting With the End in Mind” is designed to help new parents feel less overwhelmed. 

Sleeping tips:   

If baby boy fights sleep, you may try the swing, your humming and cuddling while rocking or swaying. Some babies drift off to sleep when you prop them on their side and let them cry for three or four minutes. You can also hold him tightly to your chest, blow gently into his face making him close his eyes, or lightly lay your hand over his eyes. Try yawning and taking deep breaths; yawns are contagious. Watch a YouTube video to learn how to swaddle your infant.

baby tylerAt about six months old he is eating a small amount of cereal and able to go for longer periods without food. This is a good time to start teaching him to sleep through the night. If he wakes because he is wet, keep everything as dark and low key as possible. Change him in the crib without turning on the overhead light. Do not talk. Reposition his blanket and whisper good night.

I made the mistake of taking my daughter back to bed with me to nurse.  I could not convince her to stay in her own bed all night when she was nine months old. For three long nights I had to let her cry herself back to sleep. Though at the time it seemed like three weeks.

Another sleep challenge could have been prevented, if I had explained to our three-year-old son, “You can just roll over and go back to sleep, if you have a dream. You do not have to wake up anyone and tell them. Breakfast is the perfect time to talk about dreams.”

To get your baby to sleep: blow gently into his face making him close his eyes, while yawning. Click To Tweet

Tummy ache solutions:

If the problem is a tummy ache, your baby girl may pull her knees into her chest, pass gas, and have pained expression on her face. If this is the case, try the football hold. In this hold, she faces down and you hold her head between your elbow and your ribs. The tummy rests in the heel of your hand while her arms and feet hang down limp. Use the heel of your hand to place pressure on the tummy. Use your free hand to pat her on the back and bottom. Often I use this while standing and swaying side to side or twisting back and forth at my waist.baby Laura

Another position is to lay her face down across your lap. Put her tummy on one knee and her upper torso on the other. Lay your hand closest to her head as a stabilizer on her shoulders and back. While her arms and legs hang limply down, gently raise and lower the heel of your foot closest to the tummy. Often she will sing as you make the vibrating motion. Pat her bottom with a heartbeat rhythm. Remember you are jostling her bottom. NEVER SHAKE A BABY’S HEAD.

Dressing your infant made easier:

Pull shirts on by starting them on the back of the head first rather than straight down from the top. You will find this easy to do if you lay your baby down to dress him or her. Place the baby’s head on the opening of the shirt then pull it forward. This will make it easier for you to protect your baby’s eyes, ears, and nose as you pull the top on.

If your daughter curls her toes when you try to put on her shoes: facing her, straighten her leg and mash gently above her knee and her toes will straighten. This is a little harder to accomplish if her knees are chubby. It will save you time if you loosen the laces and approach the foot toe nail side first in a scooping motion.

Want to get your baby's toes uncurled so you can get her shoes on? Read Overwhelmed New Parent Click To Tweet

When you are overwhelmed by a crying baby:

16 Textbox CryingThere will be times when a baby will cry and nothing you try will work. When that happens lay your son down in his crib with his comfort item, blanket, pacifier, or toy. Then turn on soft music, turn off the light, and set your phone alarm for ten minutes. During that time, do whatever you would like to calm and comfort yourself. Get some fresh air, make a phone call, drink a glass of water, and PRAY If more parents would follow this advice there would be a significant drop in child abuse.

If after ten minutes he seems to be relaxing down, do not go into the room set the timer for five more minutes, and give him time to self soothe. He is just overstimulated and was sensing your tension or frustration, and so it was becoming a vicious cycle. Occasionally his emotions build and he needs to let off steam. You are not a bad parent if he is having a fretful day.

If he is still as upset, then begin the checklist again to see if you can find a reason. Continue to take deep slow breaths, and stay relaxed. If at any time you start to feel angry then place him gently back into his bed and leave the room. Document everything that happened prior to this incident. List foods he ate, and the number of dirty diapers. If you are breast-feeding, document what you ate. Use this information to find patterns. You may find it helpful to record the sound of his cry. If this continues, take your notes, and recording to see his pediatrician.

Lean on friends and family when you are exhausted or discouraged. Anyone who says this is easy is delusional or a liar. Good parents trade out with another couple, so they can have an occasional break. Life will be easier when your child can tell you what is wrong and you can sleep without interruption. There is no shame in asking for help.

If at any time you start to feel angry then place him gently back into his bed and leave the… Click To Tweet

Anastacia Maness’ book “Momma  You are Beautiful: things said in a rock solid family.”  Jayna Coppedge’s book “Parenting with the End in Mind: Practical Guidance with Biblical Principles ” will be sold at our Women’s conference.   Anastacia is leading a break-out class called, “Overwhelmed with Motherhood.”

Mike-Weaver-Press-Photo-8.15We would love to have you attend our first  Women’s Conference on June 24-25, 2016 with special recording artist Mike Weaver from Big Daddy Weave. 

Here are the event details and the place where you can order your tickets for only $40. Our conference in Spartanburg, SC is titled “Overwhelmed with Life to Overwhelmed with Christ.”

Meeting our readers would be such a blessing. We hope to see you there!

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About Jayna Coppedge

Jayna Coppedge, married for 30+ years, has 2 adult children. She empowers people to be all that God created them to be. When she can't physically come alongside the parent, the preschool teacher, or the growing Christian, to guide and cheer them further in their relationships. She uses her blog "A Woman Trusting God" and Facebook ministry. Jayna just published Parenting with the End In Mind: Practical Guidance with Biblical Principles
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