When a baby cries, the first instinct of many parents is to reach out and pacify their little bundle of joy. However, not everyone holds the same view. While it’s common for babies to cry, the opinion is divided among adults about letting the baby cry. Before you form your opinion regarding the matter, you need to consider the reasons behind your baby’s cries.
Common Reasons That Can Make a Baby Cry
There can be many reasons that can make your baby cry. The most common ones among them are:
• Hunger: Your baby may become cranky and start crying when hungry.
• Diaper Discomfort: A wet or dirty diaper can make your baby cry out loud.
• Uncomfortable: If your baby feels too hot or too cold, it may start crying.
• Tummy Troubles: Your baby may cry due to stomach ache resulting from baby gas.
• Unwell: Your baby may become upset and cry when not well.
• Sleepiness: Tiredness and sleepiness can make your baby cry.
What to Do When a Baby Cries?
You have to understand that when your baby cries, he or she is trying to communicate something to you. Letting your baby cry for a while can be fine. But when it comes to allowing your baby to cry for long, you need to exercise caution. Studies have pointed out that excessive infant crying doubles the risk of mood and behavioural problems at the age of 5 to 6 years. When you respond to your baby’s cries, you make your baby feel secure.
Here’s what you need to do when your baby cries:
From Birth to 3 Months of Age
This is the period when you need to respond to your baby’s cries promptly instead of letting them cry. When you answer your baby’s cries, you start forming a bond with your child.
At 3 to 4 Months of Age
During this period, babies generally cry only when they are hungry, wet, sleepy, or ill. If you are mindful of your baby’s routine, you can avoid the crying spells by meeting their needs on time. But if your baby tends to cry for a long time even after all of his or her needs are met, it can be a sign of your baby feeling unwell.
At 5 to 6 Months of Age
At this age, your baby is old enough to self-soothe. But even then, letting your baby cry for more than 5 to 6 minutes at a time isn’t a good idea. Your baby still needs to know that you are there to respond to their cries and take care of their problems. This attachment between you and your baby is essential for proper child development.
A Word of Advice
Babies under six months of age are not old enough to respond to behavioural training. That is why letting the baby cry may not serve any purpose in this matter. If you know that your baby is well-fed, dry, comfortable, and not sick, you may allow them to cry for a while before reaching out to soothe your little one.