Babies cry. It’s what they are designed to do. It’s their only form of communication. I can let you know how I’m feeling simply by saying “I’m sick”, “I’m hungry”, “I’m uncomfortable”. A baby lacks this communication so instead they rely on what they do know: crying.
It’s not only natural and normal to shower your baby in love, affection, security, and comfort but it’s necessary. It’s as fundamental to their development as eating. Mostly everyone has or wants someone that they can turn to when in emotional distress or when they need support. Babies are similar except that want/need is enhanced. Babies are new to the world. Full of wonder, curiosity, fear, and confusion. All of their senses (sight, smell, hearing) are growing and developing, increasing by the day. Right now everything is scary and aside from eating, sleeping, and diaper changes; they need reassurance to know they aren’t alone. It’s frightening learning how to be human.
I know I suffer from my own personal anxieties and feelings of insecurity. This is not something I want to allow my son to feel when he’s so fresh and new. I don’t want his first feelings to be that of discomfort and panic if I can prevent it. Babies cry for what they need, they aren’t crying to manipulate and right now meeting their needs is pivotal. They are still young and still confused. Loving, touching, holding, being by their side when they’re in need or they’re afraid? This is a natural instinct that needs to be addressed not ignored and buried.
One minute a baby smiles up at their mother, the next he’s left alone in a big empty crib. It’s dark, scary, lonely, and a little cold. He calls out with whimpers and whines. Little screams. He tries to communicate with her to no avail – she doesn’t come. His whimpers turn to wails turns to screams. Eventually panic and exhaustion consume his little body and he drifts off. Emotionally, physically, and mentally drained. Why? All because she wants her baby to learn how to sleep and can’t seem to take the time to find a gentler method to do so? Is it laziness? A disconnect? Why must he learn to sleep now when there is still so much time for it to be taught? Why are we in such a rush for our babies to no longer be babies and act like adults? To make our lives easier?
I love you, my little fox. I will lay you down with gentle arms and I won’t leave your side. I will gently teach you to self soothe. By singing to you, by rubbing your back, by being there with you while you fall into dreams. I will teach you to be tough and independent yet I will love, hold, and be by your side when you need me. Both will coexist as one. I will trust my natural Motherly instincts. You will never feel alone because I am here with you, always.
Read more about the harm of crying it out here: Dangers of Crying It Out