A Mother’s guide to baby tears.
To the untrained ear, a baby's cry is simply a baby's cry: It's loud, it's uncomfortable, and it’s interminable. But if you’re a mom, you learn that your child has a whole repertoire of shrieks, sobs, and wails. Here are what triggers the tears, and how to handle them.
Birth to 6 months
Your newborn cries for everything. Newborns can't control their crying any better than you can control your hiccups. In the first few weeks of life, crying is sometimes a reflexive behavior. But it can give you that panicky feeling: "What's wrong? How do I stop it?"
It's important to step back, take a deep breath, and remember that infants are supposed to cry. Their crying isn't inherently good or bad. A baby isn't always attaching emotion to the crying, they cry because they have no other way to communicate."
Thanks to some amazing growth in the brain and nervous system around 6 weeks, babies gain more control over their crying not much, but enough to make the connection that when they cries, you'll come with a diaper, a meal, or a cuddle.
What to do:
Give your baby a systems check. Is she fed? Check. Burped? Check. How's that diaper looking?
Swaddle, sway, shush. Your baby just spent nine months in a cozy, temperature-controlled environment. No wonder many infants respond to swaddling, swaying, and shushing, which mimic the feelings and sounds experienced in the womb.
Stop trying so hard. Sometimes just not doing anything when your baby cries can actually make them stop crying. They sometimes need a break from all the stimulation.
Expose your baby to the real world. Some moms tiptoe around their newborns, thinking that peace and quiet are always what they need. Your child actually needs to grow around the normal sounds in your home. So don’t tiptoe around your baby all the time.