Crying is exhausting. We’re talking about those long, hard cries that wear you out physically and make you almost forget what you were crying about. There’s a special group of us humans who seem to be immune to cry exhaustion: babies.
With lungs of steel, they bawl for what seems like endless hours – until you pick them up. But should you? It’s an old question that has divided households, generations, and childcare relationships. Each parent, grandparent, and babysitter has their own philosophy on whether you should console a crying a baby.
There are three camps: picker uppers, self-soothing advocates, and the “it depends” crowd. Today, we’re going to look at the reasons why you may want to ignore the crying and why you may want to heed the sound.
Why Consoling Baby Works
You rock your precious little one to sleep, go to lay her down, and she wakes up alert and crying. You’re tired but feel guilty. You also want to cry because your baby won’t stop crying, but you pick her up to comfort her. Sometimes it works right away, sometimes not.
Some experts say that the stress of crying without any comfort can cause neurological damage to the child as well as lead to emotional issues in the future. There are also psychology experts who say that picking them up right away will also lead children to become independent toddlers faster. And yet another new study in 2017 says picking babies up does not spoil them.
Parents who are used to holding crying babies do so because they want to nurture trust and attachment with their child. They are also trying to figure out what the baby needs, even if it is only sleep. Mom or Dad’s heartbeat is soothing to baby when she’s wrapped up and laying against their chest.
Rocking or cuddling can help the baby to fall back asleep, and provide some relief to parents if they find this method works best. A non-crying baby also won’t wake up the other sleeping children in the house.
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