Monday, May 21, 2012

The Seven Baby B's: (5) Belief in the Language Value of Your Baby's Cry

The fifth Baby B focuses on the Belief in the language value of your baby’s cry. Simply put, Dr. Sears wants parents to know that their babies are not crying without a reason, they are trying to communicate with their parents via the only means they have. Infants have not yet developed any verbal skills and are dependent on their cries as a way to signal that they have a need that they are unable to meet themselves.
I know many parents who believe that infants try to manipulate them and use them. Somehow these parents see their own children in a negative light from birth and are determined not to surrender ‘control’ to them. By crying, they are expressing a want instead of a need and they should learn that they can’t have everything they want.
In my opinion, children are inherently good. The idea that an infant, who is unaware that he/she has hands, cannot sit up by him/herself, etc. is a master of the art of manipulation is just ridiculous to me. For an infant, a want and a need are one and the same thing.
Not only have I always believed that a baby’s cries need to be responded to, I also think that I would be incapable of not responding to them because I cannot stand to hear my baby be unhappy. Have you ever thought about why a baby’s cries are so hard for us to listen to? Maybe nature made it that way so that parents would do everything possible to keep their baby happy…
I can’t think of too much to write about this subject other than: listen to your baby! Don’t let your baby cry! Babies should always be able to trust that their parents will be there for them, no matter what- be it in the middle of the night, during an inopportune time, etc.- it shouldn’t make a difference. Thinking of babies who are left to cry makes my heart ache and my stomach knot up.
Tomorrow: Beware of baby trainers.
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