Do I let my baby “cry it out?”
You’re tired. Your baby is crying. You might be wondering, do I have to do something about it every time? Aren’t we supposed to let babies “cry it out” sometimes? Here is what we really know about a baby’s cries:
Crying is a tool. In fact, it is the only tool that your baby has to signal that she needs something from you. She does not yet have the ability to soothe herself or take care of herself. Crying is unpleasant to adults so we can be motivated to do something about it!
What we do about it matters. From the moment your baby is born, he begins to form expectations about the world. He can learn that the world is a safe, predictable environment where growth and exploration is possible. He can also learn that the world is scary and out of control. Do parents have the power to influence this learning process? Yes!
Soothing a crying baby. When their cries are ignored, babies do not learn that they have any control over their feelings. On the other hand, a consistent response teaches babies that they have some way of helping themselves feel better (getting you to respond). Your baby will learn best if you respond every time to her cries, no matter what time of day it is (see helpful link below). Eventually, your baby will learn to soothe herself. Here are some tips:
· Give the baby a warm bath.
· Go for a walk or ride with the baby to get some fresh air.
· For more tips, go to: http://goo.gl/LKeKi
One last thing – don’t worry if you have missed your baby’s cries in the past. A few bad experiences will not hurt her. Rather, the day in, day out experience of your care will be what helps her learn to trust you. By the end of the first year of life, your baby will be finding ways to help soothe herself. At this point, you will have taught her important ways to calm herself down and regulate herself – a key characteristic of healthy people.