Should I Comfort my Crying Baby? Thinking about crying from a baby’s perspective.
After yesterday’s honest and vulnerable piece from Hailey, I asked her what she thought should follow it. She brought herself back to the time when she was overwhelmed. “Something that humanizes babies” she said. “I wish I’d had more insight into his mind and body.”
So here they are:
12 Things your Crying Baby Wants you to Know
1. I am not crying to make your life more difficult. I am crying because something is wrong. Even if it does not seem like it.
2. I am brand new. I do not have control of my nervous system. I am disorganized. Being with you; hearing your heartbeat, smelling your scent… it calms me. It helps me.
3. The fact that I cannot stop crying is not your fault. I know your are doing your best. We are just getting to know each other. We will get there- please stick with me.
4. You are my world. You are my everything. You are all that I know. I do not have anybody else that can provide for me what you can.
5. I do not need to cry. It does not exercise my lungs, or provide any other benefit.
7. Please nurse me. No matter how much I ask for it. Forget the time or how tired you are. If nursing helps me to stop crying, please nurse me.
8. Do not listen to anybody else- not your neighbor, not your aunt. Forget the book that you read which talked about helping me to learn to self soothe. Just listen to me. And you. Forget the world outside of ours.
9. I cannot self soothe. It is not possible. If I stop crying when you leave me alone, it is because I have given up hope that you will comfort me.
10. If you are at your breaking point ask for help; with the dishes, the laundry and preparing meals. If I am content with somebody else, please use that time to shower or change or have a cup of tea.
11. I know this stuff is hard to hear. We live in a world that promotes political correctness at the expense of others. My needs are real, and I really need you; even when this means eating one handed and with dirty hair. I am your baby. You are my parent.
12. This will not last forever. It feels like it now because we are in this time warp of newbornhood. If you comfort me now, I will be calmer sooner. We will be closer. This time will end- this is not the rest of your life. While you may never long for the crying, your wiser self will be grateful to know that you trusted me, and yourself, from the very beginning.
Most importantly, I love you Mom. Thank you for trying so hard and taking such good care of me.
What else do our crying babies want us to know?