bond with baby

Baby's Crying

Baby's Crying

Babies do not cry because they are trying to manipulate or control parents. They cry to signal that they need some attention - because they may be hungry, tired, need a nappy changed, uncomfortable (too hot, too cold, clothing is tight), sick, in pain, over stimulated, need some 'time out' to relax, bored and need a change of scenery, or simply ... they need their parents' love and comfort.

For what it's worth, much literature and research suggests that healthy young babies can cry up to 3 hours within a 24-hour period during the first few months of life. This amount of crying is generally regarded as not excessive and usually peaks at around 6 to 8 weeks of age, then gradually reduces over the next weeks, 'fading out' at 3 to 4 months.

As your baby is uniquely individual she will communicate to you using her own combinations of crying signals and fussing behaviour such as body squirming and facial expressions. In the early days you will no doubt go through the 'checklist' of possible reasons as to why your baby is crying. However, in spending time with Baby, you will learn what her specific signals mean and what soothes her (Soothing Baby is discussed Next). The important thing is that when Baby cries you respond sensitively and that your interactions are always predictable. From this, Baby builds on her sense of security and wellbeing.

Note: Research has shown that infants of Western cultures cry more than non-Western infants. It is thought that parenting lifestyle and caregiving practices could contribute to this. Also the myth 'you can spoil a baby with too many cuddles' may influence Western parenting. Blow away this myth. Babies cannot be spoiled with the love and warmth that parents' cuddles provide. What babies want and need is to be close to their loving parents for a sense of security.

Furthermore, research has found that routineness and predictability of parents' sensitive and responsive interactions assist in reducing babies' crying and helps their settling for sleep.

Research has also shown that babies being carried in a sling/pouch strapped to a parent for some part of the day can reduce crying in the early weeks.