Why We Shouldn't Let Babies Cry
The child’s job is to cry, according to an oriental saying. For babies, the main way to communicate their wishes is by crying. How can your helpless baby feel then if when he craves attention, nobody gives it to him? Why shouldn’t we let babies cry?
Crying is the second “umbilical cord.” Babies cry for many reasons, but usually they want attention. How would you feel if they never listened to you when you asked for something? This is how your helpless baby feels if, when he craves attention, nobody gives it to him.
For some parents babies should be allowed to cry, because if they run to the baby every time the baby cries, they are spoiling them and this shows who is in charge of whom. For other parents the baby should not cry so much because this causes irreversible damage.
Actually there are many reasons why the baby has to cry, this is his way of attracting attention to satisfy his emotional or physical needs. For example: they need a diaper change, they are hot, have colic, are hungry or sleepy.
Given the different opinions it is better to see the pros and cons of letting babies cry. It will cause negative consequences if you let them cry for a long time and positive consequences if you take care of the baby immediately. Why shouldn’t we let babies cry?
If after a while their cries are not attended, they may stop crying. They feel that the person who takes care of them does not respond. They cry again. In the case that there is no response, they feel abandoned and insecure.
If the situation continues for a long time and is repeated frequently, the baby feels abandoned. At first he is angry, and eventually he gives up. Detachment begins to emerge. Since he does not receive love, he does not learn to love.
The conscience does not develop properly. He does not trust anyone, he does not care about anyone. He becomes a problem child and, in extreme cases, develops a psychopathic personality incapable of feeling remorse for criminal acts.
Shaken baby syndrome
If the baby does not stop crying this can be annoying; Some caregivers are desperate about the situation and they begin to shake the newborn baby, causing shaken baby syndrome, even for a few moments, this can cause irreversible neurological damage.
“This trauma can cause bleeding, brain damage, hearing loss, blindness, brain spinal cord injury, paralysis, seizures and even death”
Juan José Ramos Suaréz, Pediatrician
“If I listen to the child every time he cries, won’t I spoil him?” you may ask. It’s possible. There are many opinions on this. As each child is different, parents have to determine the best way to approach the situation.
However, recent research indicates that when the newborn is hungry, uncomfortable or upset, their body releases stress hormones, and they express discomfort by crying.
It is said that when the father or mother respond and meet the needs of the baby, they begin to create in the brain the connections that will help him to calm down. The creature that has received due attention produces less cortisol, a stress hormone.
“Babies who have always been treated right away, especially during the first six to eight months of life, cry less than those who have been allowed to cry.”
- Control your emotions first instead of dumping them on the baby.
- Then pay attention to what caused the crying.
- You can feed him or just hold him in your arms and talk sweetly into his ear.
- Pat their back or stomach.
- Do something that reassures and entertains them.
The first cry of the baby is music to the ears of a mother. But the constant crying of a baby, like the sound of a siren, can be upsetting.
Caring for your baby’s needs will not spoil him, but on the contrary, it will show him that he is not alone and that he has a family that will shower him with caresses, smiles and hugs. Maybe he will decide to stay quiet for a while.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- de Cock, E. S., Henrichs, J., Rijk, C. H., & van Bakel, H. J. (2015). Baby please stop crying: An experimental approach to infant crying, affect, and expected parenting self-efficacy. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 33(4), 414-425. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02646838.2015.1024212
- Long, T., & Johnson, M. (2001). Living and coping with excessive infantile crying. Journal of advanced nursing, 34(2), 155-162. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1365-2648.2001.01740.x
- Jones, S. (1992). Crying baby, sleepless nights. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
- Illingworth, R. S. (1955). Crying in infants and children. British medical journal, 1(4905), 75. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2060770/
- Hiscock, H., & Jordan, B. (2004). 1. Problem crying in infancy. Medical journal of Australia, 181(9), 507-512. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.5694/j.1326-5377.2004.tb06414.x