Friday, January 07, 2011

Crying Babies: Why picking them up is good for them

My friend Helen Butler posted this super article from the Analytical Armadillo website on Facebook and I wanted to share it with you.

It cuts through all the myths about how crying is good for babies' lungs (how on earth were we ever taken in by that one in the first place?) and that babies are manipulative creatures who are just at it. 

It's a good introduction to the rationale behind attachment parenting and it shows, funnily enough, that babies whose cries are responded to quickly grow up to be more emotionally balanced and secure. It's quite obvious, really.

I like this paragraph particularly:
When faced with a crying baby, it may be prudent to ask yourself the following questions: Why am I choosing this response? Do I want my baby to stop crying because he feels comforted and safe, or do I want my baby to stop crying for the sake of stopping crying? What is my baby learning about me and the world when I respond in this manner? If I were a baby and was upset, how would I want my caregivers to respond? 
I've always thought that if we want to do something kids are growing up with mental health or behaviour problems, becoming susceptible to drug and alcohol abuse, encouraging responsive, rather than regime orientated parenting is part of that solution.


Anonymous said...

I agree in principle (I wore both my kids until it became impractical, wore my 2.5 year old again when snow prevented us from using a buggy, and breastfed on cue / demand)

But it's also good to cross-refer some of the stuff on Ask Moxie on Tension Releasers.

Anonymous said...

My first was a tension reliever - but this is absolutely not the same as controlled crying. The author also says this in her piece. Tension relieving cry is a different pitch and frequency than a distressed child *crying it out*


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