You’re not alone in feeling like a really bad parent when you can’t comfort your little one An inconsolable child evokes many feelings: frustration, worry, and despair – even irritation But you’re supposed to feel it to your core We’re “programmed” to react to a crying baby; we’re quite simply supposed to want to be near them and provide comfort
How much do babies cry?
Time never moves as slowly as when your child is crying Sometimes it can feel like your baby cries all the time, or at least every night, but maybe that’s not the case Studies show that small babies cry or are restless for an average of almost two hours a day until they are three months old, and for one hour a day from the age of four to six months But it feels like forever
All babies are born with unique personalities and different temperaments And this has an impact on how the baby cries Some babies hardly make a noise, while others with the most energy use their entire vocal repertoire, and naturally that demands a little extra parent power However, there is a positive side to having a small, “screaming” baby that firmly makes his or her needs known Such stubbornness is a trait that will pay off later in life
What does the crying mean?
Crying can mean so many things: I’m hungry, I don’t want to sit here, this is uncomfortable, I can’t sleep, I don’t want to lie in these arms, and so on Occasionally, there’s more crying and fuss, usually during periods of intensive development or growth
In time, you’ll recognise what the crying is about It can be difficult, and you won’t always understand why your child is upset, and maybe baby doesn’t even know One thing’s for sure – you’ll get better at guessing
It’s easy to get into trying everything, and we mean everything, to comfort your baby But crying isn’t dangerous and it doesn’t harm our little ones It’s not dangerous to feel the way they feel, to be that sad, disappointed, or angry If you’re close at hand, it can feel really good for your baby to get it out of their system, cuddled by you for a while
In the past it was thought to be good to let babies cry, because it was good for their lungs, but that's not the case anymore Children need their parents to react to their crying Of course, most times you can run to the toilet, finish showering, or finish eating before you get up You have to take care of yourself, too, in order to keep your strength up
Pick up your baby if you want, even if those around you object This isn't spoiling your baby Follow your own “gut feeling” and choose wisely from all the advice you receive
Read more about how to comfort your baby here
All babies cry to some extent. During the first year, it is their foremost, and most important, means of communication. And you’re supposed to feel it to your core.