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All babies cry! Why?


All babies cry. It's one of the main reasons new parents get so stressed or anxious. Going out and about - what if my baby cries? Flying - what do I when my baby cries? Will they upset everybody around me? Is it a reflection on my parenting skills? How do I stop feeling so stressed about this?


Babies are born with very different temperaments. Some are relaxed and easygoing, and others seem to be more intense and dramatic. Some seem to move constantly, and others are quieter. Some are cheerful most of the time, and others are more serious.


A feature that really frustrates parents is that the amount of crying that happens in a day tends to increase and increase in the first two (or sometimes three) months of life. Then it reaches its highest point, and begins to decrease. This is the basic peak pattern of crying in infants. However, although they all do it, there are lots of differences between one infant and another. Babies cry more and for longer periods in the first three or four months than they ever do again.


When you respond quickly to comfort your crying newborn, your baby will cry less often overall. It’s absolutely fine to pick up your baby when she cries. It tells her that she’s safe because you’re a caring, responsive parent who loves her.


Theodore Roosevelt is attributed to the quotation "Comparison is the thief of joy".

You already know that no two babies are alike, but this reality may still hit you hard when you hear other parents talking about how easy their babies are or how their newborn sleeps peacefully through the night. Try to avoid comparisons and specific expectations, as they can create negative feelings—especially if you have a very challenging baby. Give yourself a break if you are having feelings you didn’t expect. It may take a bit of time to get in sync with your baby, but the extra work will be worth it!


The 'unsoothability' feature of early infant crying is one of the most misunderstood parts of the experience for parents. If parents expect that they should be able to soothe their infants, and then the soothing fails, it can be even more frustrating. Consequently, it is very important for parents to realise that, for some of the crying times, they will not be able to soothe their infants. But that is OK; your baby is still acting normally.


REMEMBER!

1. You can’t spoil a newborn. If your newborn is crying, it’s because he needs your help. If you respond calmly and consistently, it helps your baby learn that the world is a safe and predictable place.

2. Crying is a newborn’s main way of communicating, of telling you what she needs. It’s a sound that can spur you into action, even when you’re asleep. If you’re a breastfeeding mother, it can trigger your let-down reflex.

3. Crying peaks at about six weeks. This period of intense newborn crying will pass.

Babies cry and fuss on average for almost three hours a day. Some cry for a lot longer than this. Most of this crying and fussing seems to happen in the late afternoon and evening, although every day will probably be a bit different.

4. As your baby gets older, it’ll be easier for you to understand what he’s trying to tell you through crying. His crying is also more likely to be spread throughout the day.


BABY MASSAGE - If just holding your baby can be so soothing, imagine how she'll benefit from a full-body massage. In fact, studies have shown that massaging an infant can reduce crying and fussiness, help her sleep more peacefully, and alleviate common wail-inducers like constipation and colic.



© 2020 by Sonia Deighton