When Your Baby Cries


Mommy & Baby: When Your Baby Cries by Kirsten Hawkins

Babies cry. There’s no denying this fact; it’s the only form of communication they have! Deciphering which cry is which is the key, and understanding that not all crying is a bad thing is amazingly important as a parent.

Reasons for crying include:

  • Hunger
  • Tiredness
  • Wet
  • Sick
  • Bored
  • Frustrated
  • Out of routine
  • Fed too often
  • Just because he can (!!!)

The American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes that crying is a natural part of your baby’s day; they tell parents to expect their babies to cry. Newborns can and will often cry a total of one to four hours per day. No mother can console her child every time he cries, so don’t expect to be a miracle-worker and do what others cannot. Pay close attention to your baby’s cries and you’ll quickly be able to discern when he needs to be picked up & consoled, taken care of, or when he is better off left alone. Crying is a signal, not a judgment on your parenting skills!

The PDF parenting philosophy doesn’t call for a suppression of all crying, understanding that not all crying is unhealthy, but the prevention of the crying can be very detrimental to both baby and parents as the child grows. PDF babies will move from dependence to independence because the system is built on relational security, not proximal security. Your baby will be secure in your relationship with him as you meet his needs, rather than just in the fact that you’re in the same room with him. This is the sort of security parents want to infuse in their children to promote healthy bonding and independence as they grow.

Abnormal cry times include the following:

  • During feedings
  • Immediately after feedings
  • At times when the baby wakes early out of a sound nap

Crying at one of these times deserves immediate attention. Don’t wait for the crying to subside, investigate it quickly, looking for the root of the cause.

Normal cry times include the following:

  • Just before feeding
  • When baby is put down to nap
  • During the late afternoon/early evening period (many babies are fussy at this time of day)

Without understanding your baby’s cry patterns, you’ll always be second-guessing at his need or desire. Do not ignore your baby’s cry if you cannot pinpoint the root of it, but comfort him. Sometimes he just wants you, and that’s okay! Part of your job as mommy is to soothe your baby and reassure him that you are here to meet his needs.

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