Whether or not you should go to your baby every time she cries is a common parenting dilemma. We look at both sides.
Your baby’s cry pierces your heart – no wonder you instinctively rush to her as fast as you can, to calm and soothe her. Yet experts differ in their opinions on how you should deal with your baby’s crying.
There’s no one ‘right’ way to manage your baby’s crying.
You need to strike a balance between over-reacting to a short bout of tears she could recover from on her own, and not responding to a more severe episode of crying that stems from a significant difficulty. Also, you won’t always have the time to attend to her straightaway – spare a thought for the mum of howling twins or triplets! It comes down to knowing your baby.
Even if you do occasionally think you get it wrong – for instance, you ignore her cries but later realise something has genuinely upset her, or you hurry to her when she simply cries for attention – she won’t suffer any lasting psychological damage.
On the one hand, there are those who claim you shouldn’t go to your baby the moment she starts to cry. They argue that if you respond immediately, she’ll never learn to soothe herself. And there’s always the possibility that she cries just for attention, especially from the age of 5 or 6 months old. This is around the time when she becomes more aware of her surroundings and has a greater understanding of cause-and-effect.
If you find that your baby cries frequently and calms down the instant you appear, consider the possibility that he’s just doing it for the attention.
Dr Richard Woolfson, child psychologist
You can often tell when she cries just for attention by her reaction the moment she sets eyes on you. If her cries stop instantly and she beams a big smile at you, then she’s probably having you on and doing it for attention – she’s smart, but not that smart!
On the other hand, there are those experts who claim you should always go to your baby when she cries because she may become even more agitated if you don’t. She could think, “I’m all alone and no-one will help me," which would then make her cry even harder.
Couldn't agree more Gemma.
Do exactly the same in this house. If it's a distress cry I'm there if it's whingey I'll leave it,I find my boys can get too overwhelmed and need to calm down by themselves.
Oh Laura Jc is difficult too!!!! He screams from not gettin his own way tho.
I'm sure 2nd babies perfect the art of scaring us-especially if we've had an'easy first born'!!!!
i have a little lola thumb print on my forehead, jacks my angel and lola well i dont know, i keep trying maybe well get there one day, if not her 16th birthday presents and eviction notice lol x
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