When we are young parents, we get a lot of advice (sometimes too much advice) coming from friends, family, and sometimes even strangers. Even though most of these tips are given in good faith and with the intention of helping us in this new parenting adventure, many are to be rejected.
The one we’ve got a lot my wife and I is “but why are you going to see Aylan as soon as he cries?” He has been fed and just had his diaper changed, he does not need you! You are fostering bad habits.
So, for them we had to let our baby cry when this little being, all innocent, fragile and lost, is clean and fed.
He would, obviously, have no reason to cry, and, if he cries it is surely to catch our attention. The risk -according to them- is far too big: we will inculcate bad habits by taking him in our arms and wandering around the house cradling him.
Yet many studies today show that meeting baby’s needs is paramount.
NEEDS: let’s take the time to understand what it means!
Let us take a little moment, a moment of empathy, and try and step in our little angel’s shoes. He has just come out of his mom’s womb, he knows nothing about this world. He is lost. He has always been nurtured without effort, in the most secure and cocooned place that exists, the mother’s womb.
From one day to the next, he discovers a new world, a world that can be cold and hot, with new sensations of hunger and thirst, with noises and lights, with new smells and new voices.
Too many novelties for a small child. And we wonder why he’s crying?!
The answer is simple, because he needs to be reassured, because the arms of mom or dad and their smell that he got accustomed to while, are what he knows best. Cuddling, wearing, reassuring is as vital to a baby as eating, drinking and sleeping!
The more we respond to these needs, the more reassured the baby is to gradually becomes a confident child. This confidence he acquires because he knows he will never be abandoned, that he will always have an ear to listen to him.
We never questioned our attitude, despite the tons of advice we received. We have always been there when Aylan was crying and we are doing the same thing today with Yanis. We can already see the results on Aylan who has become a confident, curious and fulfilled little boy.
So, take your babies in your arms, cuddle them as much as they want, rock them, reassure them. You are making them strong children!