Do you have a crybaby? As a parent, you have dutifully done what you could within your powers to make the crying stop, but it just won’t. Or it happens very often that you are really worried and about to give up.
Don’t cry now, the article hopes to help you with your dilemma with the expert help of some of my favorite websites and of Herald Cruz, head of the Parenting Cluster of the Center for Family Ministries (CEFAM) at Ateneo de Manila.
What are the top reasons why babies cry? According to BabyCenter.com (one of the mommy sites that I recommend to parents), the Top 12 are: 1.) Hunger; 2.) A dirty diaper; 3.) Needs sleep; 4.) Wants to be held; 5.) Tummy troubles (gas, colic and more); 6.) Needs to burp; 7.) Too cold or too hot; 8.) Something small; 9.) Teething; 10.) Wants less stimulation; 11.) Wants more stimulation; and 12.) Not feeling well.
To know how to handle a crybaby, here’s my Q&A with Herald. Read on.
Is it normal for babies to cry?
Crying is normal for all babies and in fact, when they are born, crying is a normal part of lives though some babies cry more than others. Babies cry when they are hungry, sleepy, in pain, uncomfortable and etc., and according to experts, it is normal for babies to cry for one to three hours a day.
During this time in their life, you can already see their temperaments. Easy — These are the children who can adjust easily to situations and people, particularly to the changes around them. Slow to warm up — It takes time for them to adjust to situations, and tend to observe first. Difficult — Sensitive to a lot of things and the littlest things can bother them. The gift of this is that they are also sensitive to the feelings of other people.
As they get older, other concerns can be the following: 1.) Medical condition; 2.) Emotional problem of child; and 3.) Other needs not addressed.
Beyond the newborn, infancy and toddler stages, when can you classify a baby as a crybaby? What are the symptoms?
When a child excessively cries and is more sensitive than the average child, then, they are normally perceived to be “crybabies” by their peers.
How to address the symptoms?
Accept. The first thing a loving and wise parent should do is to accept the whole package of the child, if the child is sensitive and difficult, accept that that is the way he is created.
Know the source. For babies, usually the sources of crying are their basic needs, but as they grow older, there could be stress, within themselves or their family, and in the world they are moving in.
Give unconditional love. A child feels safe if a family is able to provide unconditional love, meaning no ifs or buts.
Ask the exact feeling. For children who can already talk, remember that they have very limited vocabulary and we have to guide them on what they feel, such as, “scared,” “angry,” “sad,” etc.
Is it true that it’s good to make babies cry? Some parents even believe that it’s okay to allow babies to cry for as long as 10 minutes; they say it’s good for the lungs and that babies will learn to self-soothe this way?
There has to be a balance on how to address a crying baby. In the first stage of the life of a child, the first issue is they have to trust or mistrust. It is important that they are aware that when they cry, there is someone there who will meet their needs. But at the same time, at a certain age, they can become manipulative and can use crying to get what they want.
If the symptoms are not addressed properly, what are the long-term effects on the child?
A lot depends on the source of crying, and not the crying itself, and how this is handled by the parents. Different children also handle stress differently and there is no single answer as to the long-term effects of crying on the child. Even if handled ineffectively, the kind of home a child has plays a very big part in its effects for them.
It also crucial for parents to seek professional help if they are having difficulty handling their child’s situation for the purpose of intervention or to provide parents with some educative counseling.
Thanks for your precious time, help and expertise Herald, as always. Herald also provides family counseling services. He can be reached at tel. nos. 426-4289 and 426-4292.
Meanwhile, come and join my Lifestyle Summer Fair. This will be held on April 11 to 14 at the Filinvest Tent beside Ayala Alabang. For details, call 931-0852 or 861-0006.