Crying serves many purposes in life. For babies, it can mean "I need help..., a diaper change...,
I'm hungry...", to "I need to blow off some steam!".
Crying serves two purposes:
2. Release tension or stress
Listening to the unique cries of your baby will
help you determine how you are going to respond to your baby. It is NOT recommended for you to attempt to repress
your baby's crying. If baby is crying because he or she is hungry, feed the baby, however if you have offered the breast
or bottle several times and your baby is still not content, your baby may need to cry to release frustration or stress.
I do recommend that you gently and lovingly HOLD your baby while they cry. It can be helpful for you to be available
to them for eye contact. Crying to release tension can be a natural healing mechanism for your baby.
Many babies need to cry about a difficult delivery or rough handling or just because they are getting used to life outside
of the womb.
4 types of cries that require immediate response or some
type of change:
1. Hunger cry. This is typically
repetitive and the baby will alternate between crying and rooting around, searching for something to suck on. It
has probably been 2 or more hours since the last feeding.
or soiled diaper cry. This cry sounds like baby is talking and they squirm around a little more than usual.
Check diaper and change if necessary.
3. Pain cry. This cry
typically comes on strong and may get higher in pitch and rate. Baby will probably be crying with their eyes closed.
Check to be sure baby is not laying on something.
4. Alone cry.
This sometimes sounds like a questioning cry, it is not as loud as hunger or pain cry. Baby may look around a little
while they are crying. Babies have a small space where they sense people near them. Stay close to your baby so they
can sense / feel your presence.
Otherwise, crying can be helpful, especially during TummyTime! It can
be quite frustrating for your baby to lift their head. Allow your baby to express frustration.
Experiencing tummy time is the path to development for babies. Speak soothingly to your baby. Reassure
your baby you are near and you love them for all their effort and determination! I do NOT recommend letting your
baby cry when they are alone.
Please understand that your baby needs your peacefulness and
gentle reassuring love to work through some of their troubles.
Listening to our babies cry can bring up our
own strong feelings. These feelings can range from powerlessness, helplessness, anxiety, grief and even anger.
Babies do not misbehave or do things to annoy us on purpose. They do cry and fuss to get a need met. I recommend
meeting your baby's need for unconditional love by providing gentle, caring touch / holding them while they cry.
Then, after you are able to put your baby down, you can deal with your strong emotions or reactions to baby's
cries with a friend, a spouse or even a therapist or counselor.