As a new parent, you will do anything to shush your baby’s tears. You feed and rock and bounce and pat and change your baby, in an effort to comfort and ensure that all of their precious little needs are met. But sometimes, in your rush to instantly stop the crying, you might miss the opportunity to learn your baby’s cries, understand their different tones, and respond accordingly. Around sleep, there’s a lot of controversy about whether or not you should let your baby “cry it out” and help them learn to fall asleep independently, or cuddle, nurse and soothe your baby at every opportunity, round the clock. There’s a lot of judgment about this, so as best as you can, try to ignore all the theories and opinions that don’t work for you and your family. If you want to co-sleep and you’re all sleeping well, who cares what your mother-in-law says?!? Alternately, if your 6 month-old baby is waking every hour, and you’re becoming suicidal, you shouldn’t rule out some form of sleep training because your best friend thinks it’s bad. Now I’m not saying that you should ignore your baby’s cries. I’m just saying that crying is a normal and healthy behavior, and though it’s excruciating to hear your baby cry, it’s really nothing to panic about. I cried like a baby the other day because I was tired and hormonal and frankly, I just needed to get it out! Our cultural-adult tendencies are to squelch tears, but sometimes we just need to cry, and so do our kids, despite our attempts to stop them. My kids (4 and 6) still cry when they’re hungry or tired, or need to pee but don’t want to stop playing, or simply because I won’t let them have candy for dinner. Eventually, as our babies grow into kids, we become accustomed to crying and realize that it’s just part of parenting, and sometimes, our kids just need to get it out, just like we do!
Hi, I’m Natalie, founder of Mommywise. I’m a Brooklyn mom of two (now) teenagers, PPD survivor, still humbled by the early years of parenting. I started this blog in 2004 as a way to help other parents who felt as dark and lonely as I felt to feel less shame, normalize the feelings of not loving parenthood, and raise awareness about postpartum mood disorders. I’m passionately committed to helping new parents feel more joy, offering sustainable employment for women and mothers, and contributing to positive change in the world.