Changing the rhythm of a crying baby
Updated: Apr 9
When a child is upset, they cry because they don’t have words yet. And they don't stop, as you know, until their needs are met - food, diaper change, cuddles, an arm, a leg, etc. But sometimes they get so upset that they cry and cry and when they do, you’ll notice how it takes on a rhythm.
At times like this, ordering a child to stop with your own loud words makes it worse. If you’ve ever reacted this way, you know what we mean. Instead, try clapping loudly to the cry’s beat. The child will gradually stop crying to listen to your clapping. When you get their attention, start slowing the claps down, then giving them a different rhythm. Try to resist recreating a Beyoncé beat here, Dad, but make it softer.
Children will usually start to calm down, becoming quiet to hear the softer clapping. With this, you have successfully de-escalated by breaking their upset rhythm and replacing it with one where they can speak and be spoken to.