Fussy vs. Psycho

So much of nannying is getting to know the kiddos like the back of my hand; knowing their habits, understanding their personalities. This all comes with time spent with them, and of course, by speaking with their folks, who know them better than anyone. One of the most winning of wisdoms is when a caregiver can decipher the degrees of despair in a kiddo’s crying. Or, as I like to gauge it: Fuss Crying or Psycho Crying.

Fussing is characterized by intermittent to consistent noise, but of a lower volume, more of a complaint made out of exhaustion than from being genuinely upset. I can listen to a kiddo fuss cry until they fade to sleep. When they are fussing, you know they are tired, just need to self soothe into slumber; in some cases it may just be that they are trying out new sounds. I’ve found that when it comes to fuss crying, the best course of action is no action. Babies learning to self soothe themselves is very important, and while it is not easy for me to hear a baby cry at all, if it’s fuss crying, I know they will be fine in a few.

Fuss Crying

Psycho crying, on the other hand, is a high volume, steady stream of screams. A psycho crier may be exhausted, but is way too upset to surrender to sleep. When a baby is psycho crying I take it as a cue to intervene, and calm him/her down, before reintroducing them to the crib. Most often I end up either rocking them to sleep or taking them for a walk, then transferring them from my arms/stroller to their beds. In my experience this solidifies a trust between the child and I, that if they are genuinely upset, I’ll be there to make things better and help them sleep.

Psycho Crying

I don’t know where, as a parent I will fall on the parenting scale; definitely somewhere closer to Ferber Method than Attachment Parenting. For now I take my cues from the parental units per household, keeping my techniques consistent with theirs, maintaining their status quo and caregiving strategy. I know that every child is different, and therefore there may be just as many subtypes of parenting, as there are kiddos.
And so I’ll share with y’all my Supernanny Serenity Prayer:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the fuss crying that will eventually end in sleep,
The courage to intervene when crying turns to screams,
And the wisdom, to know the difference between the two.



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