Babies cry. You don’t have to feel bad about it. Either they’re trying to tell you something (they’re hungry, scared, etc.) or they’re frustrated or in pain. We should always do the best we can to respond to a crying baby’s needs. Yes, sometimes it’s overwhelming and yes sometimes you need to put a crying baby down for a moment. Yes, we live in a silly society where parents live isolated and don’t have enough help. Sometimes, you pick up a baby and they just keep crying.
Do we always need to stop the crying? If a baby is crying for certain emotional reasons, I actually believe that they benefit tremendously when they are allowed to lovingly cry and vent their frustrations in someone’s arms. If a baby is crying, go to them as soon as you can. They can’t talk. They can barely move. They need you. If you can pick them up when they are crying, then do so. If you can’t pick them up, stay near and offer them reassuring words. If you want to pick them up, but need your hands for something else, consider buying a baby carrier or simply using a shawl to tie them to you. No matter why your baby is crying, there are many reasons why they are not.
1. Your baby is not crying because he or she is being naughty.
2. Your baby is not crying because he or she is being manipulative.
3. Your baby is not crying because he or she needs to learn to be independent.
4. Your baby is not crying ‘just’ because he or she needs to exercise his or her lungs (although they do get a good release of stress when they are held lovingly for emotional crying).
5. Your baby is not crying because he or she is resisting sleep. (They do cry before sleep to release pent up emotions sometimes, but they’re not resisting sleep.)
6. Your baby is not crying because they need to learn to be independent and to sooth themselves.
7. Your baby is not crying because just because he or she is a baby and that’s what babies do.
8. Your baby is not crying because they are trying to trick you.
9. Your baby is not crying because they only *want* your attention, they NEED your attention.
10. Your baby is not crying because they are being a burden. They are communicating to you in the only way they know how.
Disclaimer: If you are feeling violent or distraught over your baby because they won’t stop crying, please put them down and get some help, either professional help or from the next nice person you see on the street. We shouldn’t have to do this alone. Also, if a baby is crying constantly, consider if they may be in pain or have had a very traumatic birth or lots of stress in the womb.