Cry Baby Cry

Babies cry.

We all know that, we don’t however know why sometimes.

It is their only form of communication, it is their only way of letting us know that they are hungry, bored, tired, feeling un-well, are wet or dirty, cold or too hot.

To listen to someone elses baby as a mother, it isn’t a big deal, it may be annoying but that’s really about it. When a mothers own baby cries? It’s like a drill boring into her temple.

That cry is distinct and a mother can tell her babies cry out of a million at ten feet away. The connection between a mum and her own baby is indescribable to anyone who doesn’t have their own child. I think sometimes even dads will never understand the way a babies cry affects its mum.

A mum will wake from the deepest sleep at the slightest sound from her own baby. something that others would sleep right through.

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I had a hard time with Bella dealing with crying, she was my first and you immediately assume that when a baby cries it needs to be stopped.

A non-crying baby equals a happy baby.

A happy baby equals a good mum.

Thats so not true.

Some babies naturally cry more than others.

And as long as you know your baby hasn’t got a temperature, has a clean and dry nappy, isn’t to cold or hot, is not hungry and have ticked every other possible box, then it is ok for a baby to cry.

Who knew?

It is ok for a baby to cry. (Yeah I know I repeated that, but some mums needed to hear that twice!)

Some physicians even think it helps develop their communication skills later in life. I personally don’t agree, but I do think that babies were made to cry and having a ‘silent’ baby is not natural.

There has been some study relating quiet babies being more withdrawn later in life (personally Sophie wasn’t a crier and she’s far from withdrawn!) And that loud babies are more out going, opinionated and independent. (Bella fits this so far.)

For the first 2 years of Bella’s life I spent pretty much awake. She’d cry and I’d jump to soothe her right away.

9 times a night like clock work for 2 years I’d get up to her.

I had to work something out.

I am all for the self soothe method when putting babies to sleep (I’m not talking newborns, I mean babies from about 3-4 months this is when babies get to know their patterns and surroundings.) Self soothe is basically a really nice way of saying I listen to my baby scream until it goes to sleep.

There are nice ways to do it.

Firstly make sure baby is fed, clean, dry and fresh nappy, you’ve talked and played and cuddled until they are really tired. Snuggle them up in their place of sleep, give kisses, cuddles, say good night, then walk out and close the door.

Baby may cry.

No need to rush back in as long as you know 100% your baby is safe.

If your baby is still crying after 5 mins quietly go into the room and check on them. The only way this will not make things worse is if you make sure your baby does NOT see you. If you rush in and turn lights on, grab your baby and pick them up then the last 5 minutes were a waste of time.

(It is KEY that your baby does not know your there. They may step the crying up a notch to get your attention, go double-check if you feel the need, but if you pick your baby up at this stage, next time you try they’ll begin with the ‘bigger better’ cry right away. They’re clever and know what gets them what they want.)

Once you know your baby is ok leave.

Keep doing this if you need reassurance, until your baby goes to sleep. After a few nights your baby will get the picture.

 I eat, I get cleaned and changed, I get cuddles, I get tucked up and soft whispers. Then I sleep.

Trust me It will be harder on you than your baby!

Babies learn patterns, they don’t care what time of the day things are done but through routine and a ‘pattern’ they can adjust.

It took a couple of weeks and I finally was getting some sleep! I immediately did this with all my kids after Bella and it has helped save so much sanity!

Bed time takes us about 30 with books and cuddles and play time included! Sophie 4, and Violet 3, share a room. We give them hugs and kisses, turn the lights off and close the door. They go to sleep (except occasionally when they decided they want to have a chat) Molly 2, is in her toddler bed, same thing, kiss hugs, lights off close the door. Sleep.

Buddy’s still breast-fed so he sleeps in our room. He’ll have his feed a nappy change and then I tuck him up in his bed and off he dozes, even if Glen and I are in the room. He knows now that once he is in his bed, that’s where he stays until his next feed.

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Crying and lack of sleep can be the worst thing ever. If we can be a little relaxed about it all, things can go so much smoother (babies also feel our distress and feed off it.)

When baby cries, un-tense your body, take a deep breath, remove any ‘her we go again’ thoughts from your mind, access what may be the problem and talk to them in a calm voice while dealing with whatever it is. “Oh look you’ve got a wet nappy, how about we change that?’

 (A good way to tell if baby is just ‘attention’ crying is that they stop as soon as they are in your arms, they just wanted mummy, which is pretty sweet. A good way to tell if a baby under 12 months has an upset tummy is if their poop is a greeny colour, its hard to know if baby is in pain especially without a temp, sometimes there are other signs.)

Nothing working? Turn some music on and bop and sing along with baby. Show them a mirror, make some weird random noise.

Last resort. Put baby in a safe place and walk away have a breather and come back.

Babies are made to cry, mothers were made to react to that cry.

It’s normal.

Don’t stress!

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 (This was written with my own experiences in mind, if your worried about your baby please seek medical advice or a professional. I’m a professional with my own kids and that’s it.)

*Thank you for the emails ladies, hope this helps, any further questions feel free to email me.*

2 thoughts on “Cry Baby Cry

  1. I love that you talk about self settling after 3-4months of age – my hubby would insist that we let alex scream himself to sleep when he was only 1 or 2 months old and it was so painful for me to go through and alex too probably! – alex had terrible colic when he was small and was constantly in so much pain. I definitley plan to attempt this method with any other baby i have – like you said after they get out of the newborn stage. alex is still a toddler that needs me or ben to lay with him until he goes to sleep and needs resettling if he wakes at night – i dont plan to create this behaviour with another child!

    1. Yeah I can’t do it when they are so new. They haven’t had time to work out who we are or who they are or adjusted to this new dry world. I find that between 4-6 months is when they figure out what cry mum and dad will react to. (I would normally move my babies to their own room at this age too because they wake purely because they know your right there. Buddy’s staying until 1, being last baby and all, I’m not worried about spoiling him lol ;)Colic is horrible they just cannot get any peace and is so hard to deal with as a parent. I know a lady who has to carry, yes I said CARRY her 3 year old during his 2 hour day naps! Its never too late to get them sleeping through and settling themselves, ilike I said Bella was a bit over 2! It is hellish for a couple of nights but once the realise (especially at that age) that no ones coming to the rescue they get over it. Everyone ends up happier with a full night sleep (can’t wait for that!) As long as some one keeps walking through that door in the night they’ll just keep on waking up.

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