When A Baby Cries
When A Baby Cries
A crying baby can be one of the most frustrating and frightening experiences for new parents, and parents often worry about how they'll handle crying even before the baby is born.
It's important to remember crying is normal, and that it's the only way a baby has to communicate. In fact, you don't want a baby not to cry, because then it couldn't tell you that it needs your help. But crying is not pleasant. Your dislike of the crying - and your response to get up and do something about it - is how it's supposed to work.
It's amazing anyone ever recommended letting a newborn "cry it out." Parental instinct is to be bothered by the crying so parents will attend to their child. Besides, babies that are left to cry often work themselves into more of a frenzy, making it harder to calm them or tell what's wrong.
Nowadays, the conventional wisdom is that it's impossible to "spoil" an infant by attending to its every cry. In fact, doing so may make baby less likely to cry more (we've all seen and heard the toddlers who yell at their parents - and everyone else - in order to get them to just listen.). Young babies aren't able to manipulate situations, so there's no way you can spoil them by attending to their needs. In fact, not doing so would tell them no one cares about attending to their needs, a message parents don't want to send.
When crying starts, it's most likely because of:
1. Hunger (though if it hasn't been about two hours since feeding, you can usually rule this one out, but you might try feeding anyway). 2. Diaper needs changing. 3. Gas, rash, too hot or cold, or something else producing discomfort. 4. Over-tired or over-stimulated. 5. Bored. 6. Scared, perhaps by a loud noise or unfamiliar person. 7. In need of being picked up for closeness and comfort. 8. In pain from a diaper pin or too-tight diaper or elastic band.
So, when the crying starts, run down the above checklist and make sure the baby's needs are met and there's no apparent injury. Many times, the baby will calm simply by:
1. Picking the baby up, holding it close to your body in a soft curve, and walking with it or rocking it. 2. Holding it in a front carrier next to mom's or dad's heartbeat (some say babies that are "worn" frequently this way may cry less overall). 3. Talking in a soothing, calming voice, and/or giving it a finger, its own hand or a pacifier to suck.