Wednesday, April 30, 2008

When baby cries…

Each time a toddler hollers, should a new parent immediately attend to him or just ignore the crying?

By Rachel Goodchild

NOBODY likes to listen to a baby crying. And there is nothing more worrying for a new mom or dad when this happens and they don’t know why. As a new parent, you will find everybody has their way of dealing with a crying baby, and if you listen to everybody, you will end up doing nothing.

The reality is that babies cry, and there are a lot of reasons for their crying. When babies are newborn, they have no other way of communicating to you. If they have a need, they cry. You will learn mainly through trial and error in these early days, the different sounds of your baby crying and what that means.

But when you first hear your baby crying, you might want to panic, but do stay calm and remember they are getting your attention in the only way they can. It might be their diaper needs to be changed, and that will be easy to spot and then to rectify. Or it might be they are hungry. Again, try feeding them, and see if that stops the crying.

It might be they are either too hot or too cold, or even that they just want a good cuddle. Babies love attention, but there are times when too much attention will make them start crying again.

It is fine balancing act at these times to know what to do.

There will be times when your baby has colic and this will cause them to cry, but the crying tends to be high pitched, which might alert you to the problem. They might also raise their legs and become very red in the face. Another clue, to tell you the crying is from colic, is that it can happen at the same time day after day.

But what other causes for a crying baby, and how do you know what to do when everything you have tried has failed? Babies seem to know when a parent is anxious, and they will keep crying even though the problem has been dealt with. It is never easy, but you should try and relax when your baby starts to cry. Instead of thinking about the noise they are making, think about how they are talking to you, and they want you to meet their needs.

As your baby gets older, you will soon recognize the differences in their crying. You will know when they are just after attention, or even they are bored. This is the time to put a few toys in easy reach of them, so they can play quietly in their crib.

Your baby is also learning all the time they are crying. They know what your reaction is likely to be, and when they get older, they will try and manipulate the situation.

At this stage, when they want attention, they want it this minute. Two minutes is too long, and if you start to give in to them at this stage, you will find that those cries quickly turn to tantrums. You also need to remember you are the parent in this family, and you as the adult will make the decision.

the art of parenting
Tuesday, February 5, 2008

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