Posted: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 5:00 am
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” — Fred Rogers
This article is specific to babies that are 6 months and younger. A very common suggestion to new parents with a newborn baby is, “Don’t pick the baby up if he cries; you’ll only spoil him!” Some will say, “The baby needs to exercise their lungs” as a reason to let the baby cry.
Often this advice is given by grandparents or relatives of the baby because they already have children and they are sharing their experience. Many of us have been taught to respect our elders, but sometimes this advice doesn’t seem right to most parents. This is a myth that continues to be passed from generation to generation. Thanks to research with babies, we now know why it’s not good to let baby cry it out.
Babies cry because they need something, whether it’s to be fed, to be held, to have their diaper changed or because they are too hot or too cold. They rely on their mommy, daddy or other caregiver to take care of their needs. When the baby’s caregiver takes care of the baby’s needs, the baby learns to trust. When the baby learns to trust the caregivers, then the baby learns to feel safe and secure because their needs are met.
This will be the beginning of relationships for the rest of the baby’s life. Babies are designed to be in relationships, which is why your baby wants to be with you. They want to be with you, play with you, be comforted by you and do what you do. Let your baby look at your face as much as possible, whether it’s during feeding, playing or just holding. Also, when the baby feels safe and secure, and in a good relationship with the caregivers, they are ready to learn. Since the baby’s brain will grow to almost 85 percent by the time the baby is 3 years old, learning is important!
On the other hand, if we let babies “cry it out” because we don’t want to spoil them, some unintended things can happen. When the baby keeps crying and no one responds to the baby, the baby learns that “No one is there to take care of me and no one is going to take care of my needs,” which makes the baby stressed. When the baby is stressed, it makes them worry and they learn that they cannot trust anyone so they feel unsafe and insecure. When they feel unsafe, insecure and worried, the baby is not able to learn because they are only worried all the time.
If left to “cry it out,” some babies will stop crying eventually. Some people think that is success, but infant mental health specialists now know that it’s not success – the baby has given up. This is not a good start for babies. These are also the babies that have a harder time calming themselves, get upset more easily and are more anxious and frightened, so they demand more attention from their caregivers, which is the opposite of what was desired in the first place! So, if you want your baby to be more independent when he or she is older, give them attention and meet their needs when they are younger.
In his book “Brain Rules for Baby,” Dr. John Medina states that babies are already wired to learn, but the baby’s brain cares about survival first, then it is interested in learning. (This book is available at Navajo County Public Libraries. Ask your librarian to help you check it out.)
Dr. Medina also explains why “face time” is more important than screen time, which includes television, videos, DVDs, computers and iPads. Your baby needs to look at people so they learn facial expressions and how to interact. A good example to see the effects of no facial expressions on a baby, Dr. Ed Tronick from Harvard University did an experiment with a mother and baby called the “Still Face Experiment.”
You can watch the video on YouTube – search “Still Face Experiment” with Dr. Ed Tronick. Hopefully, you will see the importance of face time, interactions and feeling safe and secure to learn for baby. We want our babies to have the best start in life by giving them strong foundations.
Thanks Mike. I agree with the article.
I never let my babies lay crying. When they were little and would wake up crying, I put them to my breast and we went back to sleep. I too, was told I was "spoiling" them. I laughed at the idea and I never had a sleepless night with any of the four.
They are grown up now and they have had their struggles and they are not perfect beings but I can say one thing about them, each one has an incredible sense of compassion and humanity. I really do attribute that to those very early years when their needs were met with love and nurturing.
Did anyone else have advertisements pop up next to this thread with people crying? One was a bawling woman who was going to be arrested (?) another was a crying baby.
Before you know it, when you have a thought, ads will pop up with images associated with it.
What a bizarre menagerie the`ads for my cluttered thoughts would show!
I totally agree with this article. I never did think you could spoil a baby under a year old! They need that cuddling and attention and crying is their only way of communicating their needs to us whether they're hungry, cold, scared, bored, whatever. A baby is much more secure when they know their parent is there for them whenever they need them.
Go suck on a pacifier? Adults' mouth bacteria may help babies
By Deborah Netburn
3:34 p.m. CDT, May 6, 2013
Forget boiling, or antiseptic wipes: The best way to clean a Binky may be putting it in your own mouth.
A parent who ***** on a baby's pacifier to clean it is loading it up with hundreds of good types of bacteria that live in the adult mouth. That bacteria is transferred via the pacifier to the infant's mouth.
It may sound gross, but evidence suggests that those bacteria may help reduce instances of allergy development in babies.
In a new study published in Pediatrics, researchers followed 184 infants recruited from a Swedish hospital from birth until most of them were 3 years old. The researchers were specifically looking for allergy-prone babies, and 80% of the sample group had at least one parent with allergies.
In the first six months of the babies' life, 74% of them used a pacifier. Almost all the parents of pacifier-sucking babies said they used tap water to clean the pacifier. Half of the parents said they also boiled them, and another half said they popped dirty pacifiers in their own mouth before handing them back to baby.
At an 18-month check-up, the researchers found that the babies whose parents sucked their pacifiers to clean them were 63% less likely to have eczema and 88% less likely to have asthma compared to those whose parents did not clean their pacifiers that way.
And those babies whose parents were diligently boiling their baby's pacifiers to clean them? They were more likely to develop asthma than the other babies.
At a 36-month checkup, parental pacifier sucking no longer had an impact on whether a baby would develop asthma, but the babies whose parents sucked their pacifiers to clean them were still 49% less likely to have eczema.
The researchers also checked to see if the babies whose parents sucked on their pacifiers were more likely to get a cold or cough from their parents. The answer was no.
The researchers, led by Dr. Bill Hesselmar from Queen Silvia Children's Hospital in Gothenberg, concede that their study group is small, and conclude that more studies need to be done before they can say definitively that sucking a baby's pacifier is an easy and safe way to reduce allergy development in babies.
Personally, I'd like to see someone analyze the benefits of the good old "wiping a Binky on the side of your jeans" method of cleaning it. I'm not so interested in sticking dirty pacifiers in my mouth, but if it would help my baby get the bacteria he needs, I guess it's worth it.
A parent who ***** on a baby's pacifier to clean it is loading it up with hundreds of good types of bacteria that live in the adult mouth
Cracks me up that it was edited!
Geez, for all my maternal failings I am happy to see one more thing I did right, haha.
I always felt guilty and nasty for doing it but I felt better about that than dry wiping.
While I don't necessarily believe in letting a baby "cry it out" - after all they are crying for a reason, whether we recognize it not - neither do I believe that they need to/should be picked up at the first whimper.
"Personally, I'd like to see someone analyze the benefits of the good old "wiping a Binky on the side of your jeans" method of cleaning it." I did that a time or 2; seemed a lot more sanitary than the alternatives........ LOL
I can deal with a lot of things. Blood, guts, vomit (although it often makes me puke) feces, urine.... dealt with all of it. But when I think of a binky, I think of a toothing baby who's literally slobbering all over the place. My kid or not, you're not going to spit in my mouth... Cant do it.
Well, I can't argue about the spit in my mouth...... why do you think I rub the binky on my pant leg once it's dropped? I'm not licking it, with baby slobber and dirt all over it...... I could never stand to clean up my kids' plates after they'd eaten, either, like I've seen so many mothers do.
You guys. :)
Think of the saliva that gets mixed in when you kiss your spouse. It never occurred to me to find that gross. A sweet baby that came from within my body is going to gross me out with his/her bit of spit? Never.
"The kennel was on the ground floor, near the mews, with a loft above it, so that it should be cool in summer and warm in winter. The hounds were alaunts, gaze-hounds, lymers and braches. They were called clumsy, Trowneer, Phoebe, Colle, Gerland, Talbot, Luath, Luffra, Apollon, Orthros, Bran, Gelert, Bounce, Boy, Lion, Bungey, Toby, and Diamond. The Wart's own special one was called Cavall, and he happened to be licking Cavall's nose—not the other way about—when Merlyn came in and found him.
"That will come to be regarded as an insanitary habit," said Merlyn, "though I cannot see it myself. After all, God made the creature's nose just as well as he made your tongue.[…]"
—T. H. White, The Once and Future King, "The Sword In the Stone"
Who was that young actress that actually chewed up food and fed it to her toddler like a bird? Now THAT is taking it a bit too far in my opinion. :>)
And who hasn't done the mama clean up? You know, when you lick your finger and use that wetness to wipe something off their face?
Never had the binkie issue though as neither of my kids desired the binkie.
My first son was held . . . well? Constantly? A lot to say the least. When he was 1 and I was expecting baby number 2, he was still waking one time a night for something to drink and a cuddle. I had no problem with this, however, my pediatrician said he needed to sleep through the night before baby 2 arrived and my world drastically changed. She had me do the "Furber" method to get him to sleep through the night. I felt like such a traitor. But . . . he started sleeping through the night after about a week. Thank goodness as baby number 2 woke every 1.5 to 2 hours until he was 16 months old no matter what I did. I was a sleep deprived, walking zombie. I practiced 'attachment' parenting and believe strongly in that. Responding to one's baby is really important. I DID find out that they do not detach from you if you let them cry for a minute while you take care of something like their big brother who has just done a face plant on the wood floor and is also crying.
Honestly, those cry baby years were some of the best years of my life!!
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