Babies. They cry. It’s what they do. And I’ve said you shouldn’t sweat it–
you shouldn’t, it happens to every parent — but I admit it can be a bit embarrassing. Here are a few of my most memorable baby meltdown moments… and how I survived them.
At a café.
This was one of my first public outings with my little one. She was three weeks old and I was determined to get out of the house. That didn’t last long. She woke up from a nap, had a diaper explosion that used every single wipe I had on me, and then wailed like a banshee. She was disrupting the café’s relaxed vibe, so I had to leave and take her home. Although the meltdown didn’t end right away, I’m happy to report the crying settled down about 30 minutes after we got home. They say time heals all wounds; sometimes, it’s the only cure for a meltdown, too.
At the park.
What’s better than a picnic on a beautiful spring day? At least that was my thought until my baby decided to have a monster cry-fest, disturbing all the people around us trying to enjoy nature. Luckily, parks are outdoors and there was plenty of shade that day, so consoling my little one — although noisy at times — was a “walk in the park.”
Alcatraz, San Francisco.
Our first plane ride was smooth, but the sightseeing, unfortunately, proved to be a bit more difficult. A day trip to Alcatraz ended with us wishing we could lock ourselves away for a break from the giant meltdown. My husband and I definitely learned our lesson after that: Don’t take the baby any place we can’t easily escape. Thankfully, that time it only took a short walk with a bit of swaying to calm her down.
Our friend’s Mini Cooper car.
A kind friend offered to drive us around San Francisco when we visited. Said friend also didn’t have a baby. Turns out our little one did not like car trips very much. She cried the entire hour in the car, up and down the hills of San Francisco. Lucky for us, our friend loves kids and wasn’t fazed by the screaming.
On a 10 hour flight.
Flying with a baby – it’s something all new parents view with trepidation, especially if they’ve witnessed crying kids on previous flights. One particularly rocky flight we took with our then-16 month old involved several hours of non-stop screaming, where our toddler was totally exhausted and refused to nap. We did everything – walked her up and down the aisle, put her in the carrier and swayed, offered her food, milk, toys, the iPad – nothing worked. It was the longest flight of our (and our fellow flyers’) lives. There was nothing to do but ride it out and apologize profusely to everyone around us.
Christine Knight is an Australian expat and mother of one enthusiastic toddler. Now living in Brooklyn, NY, she is co-founder of brunchwithmybaby.com, a site dedicated to helping parents navigate the NYC and Sydney food scenes with their offspring.