Thursday, January 19, 2012

How to help your crying infant

A crying baby is a source of concern for many parents. When your baby cries and you don't know why, it can bring up feelings in you of anxiety, helplessness, frustration, incompetence, and even anger and hostility. There is much advice about crying babies, but most of it fails to explain the real reasons for crying, and offers suggestions that are damaging to your baby's emotional development.
 There are two reasons why babies cry:
  • One reason is to communicate a need or discomfort. Perhaps they are hungry, bored, cold, or they just want to be held. Sometimes it is hard to figure out what they need. The role of parents is to try to fill babies' needs as promptly and as accurately as possible. Babies cannot be "spoiled." It is impossible to give them too much love, attention, or physical contact.

  • The second reason for crying during infancy is less well understood. Many babies continue to cry even after all of their basic needs have been met, and even while they are being held. This kind of crying, which peaks at around six weeks of age, has been called "colic" or "irritable crying." It can last several hours a day. The traditional explanations for this crying have focused on possible physical problems such as gas pains or indigestion. However, research has shown that most babies with "colic" have nothing wrong with their digestion, and are usually in excellent health. It is therefore necessary to consider the possible emotional reasons for crying.
Infants are extremely vulnerable, and have a considerable amount of emotional pain resulting from an accumulation of stressful experiences. Distress can be caused by a traumatic birth or difficulties after birth. Babies experience confusion as they attempt to understand the world, and they are easily frightened and overstimulated. In addition, they feel frustrated as they attempt to learn new skills and communicate. All of these result in emotional pain that is stored in the body.
Fortunately, babies come equipped with a repair kit, and can overcome the effects of stress through the natural healing mechanism of crying. Research has shown that people of all ages benefit from a good cry, and tears help to restore the body's chemical balance following stress.

What can parents do? First of all, it is important to check for immediate needs and discomforts, such as hunger or coldness. But if your baby is still fussy after you have filled her basic needs, it is quite appropriate simply to hold her lovingly and allow her to continue crying. Babies need closeness and attention when they are crying. No baby should ever be left to cry alone. Even though you may feel ineffective when holding your crying baby, in reality you are providing her with much-needed emotional support while she is releasing stress in this manner. Your baby is not rejecting you when she is crying. She is simply feeling safe enough to show you her feelings, just as you yourself might burst into tears if a trusted friend were to put his arm around you and acknowledge that you have had a hard day. Parents who hold their babies and allow them to express themselves in this manner usually notice that their babies are relaxed and content after the crying spell, and sleep better at night.

Please note that this is NOT A "CRY-IT-OUT" APPROACH. I do NOT advocate letting babies cry alone. There is a huge difference between leaving a baby to cry alone in a crib and holding a crying baby lovingly in your arms, while providing comfort and reassurance.

To read the entire article click here

1 comment:

  1. Free Nursing Covers and/or Baby Slings at FreeSlings.com

    They regularly cost $48 bucks (are currently on sale for $39) but if you enter a code you get it for free!! (almost)


    The code takes off the full price of the sling, but not the shipping ($9) or tax ($3)

    So you end up paying just $12 instead of $60something :)

    That’s a good deal in my book!!

    Grab one for yourself or a new mom / mom-to-be that you may know.


    You’re Welcome! hehe