I get very distressed everytime Le Xin cries. As much as I understand that crying is an infant's way of communicating, a way to let me know her needs - that she is feeling uncomfortable, but I still feel panicky each time I see her cry. Many people have given me old wives advice for example "Don't pick up your baby too soon if she is crying, if not you are just spoiling her and she will always demand you to carry her" Another advice "Ohh of course you must pick up your baby if she cries too much, she will soon develop colic"
Alright so which is which? Hmm....I've decided to follow my heart! Sometimes my minds tells me otherwise :p I decided to pick her up to comfort her simply because I do not have the heart to hear her crying painfully as if something terribly wrong was going on. I think that it's really too early to assume that she will be spoilt and allowing her to "cry it out" often makes me feel nothing but distressed and guilty :(
Here is something I will do, I will carry her in my arm and start singing "我要向高山举目" haha it calms my heart and then I will keep praying that Le Xin will feel my calmness too!
I am glad I follow my heart because according to Ages and Stages by Karen Miller "Babies who are picked up promptly and cared for in a very responsive way turn out to be more content and compliant in the second half of their first year, and later toddlerhood. An adult who responds dependably to a baby's distress is a direct predictor of a child having positive social relationships with other children later on."
To some extend I feel that the above statement is very true! Have you read this poem? -> Children Learn What The Live I am a strong believer of this poem so much so that I even pasted this poem in her room so as to remind myself that I must never ever get irritated when she cries :)
Having said that, years of my early childhood teaching experience did not prepare me for this.....a crying infant! I called almost all the mummies in my HP list because Le Xin would cry from 9 plus at night to 6 plus in the morning, yeah I know I am on maternity leave but I still instinctively feel distress!!!
救命阿 was all that I could think of when she started crying, I tried all sorts of method, feeding, changing of diaper, bathing, burping her, walking with her, rocking, singing, even using a pacifier but that didn't stop her from crying. Strangely, during the day, she just slept quietly like a sleeping beauty but somehow at end night she just start to sing like Stefanie Sun!
Once she even screamed so loudly that it soon became quite freaky to us which left Daddy Scott placing a bible below her rocker. We were really at our wits, I finally decided to get one of the Pastor from Church to pray, however, the crying episodes went on and went on till one fine day, I decided to seek help from my ex-principal. She just gave me one simple advice which was try to keep her awake during the day and kept explaining to her that the sky is bright now time to be awake, the sky is dark now - time to sleep. I was really having doubts but as long as anyone could save me or rather us a desperate me will be more than willing to give it a go and try it out... So I tried and guess what?....she slept perfectly and soundly that night!
Phew, finally the crying nightmare was over! So I guess, she just slept too much during the day... Nothing very serious, I still gave her grip water thinking she had colic = -------->Bad Mummy! From time to time, we as parents still suffer from sleepless nights with her unexplainable mad crying especially when she felt sick but couldn't express it.... Ohh well, I guess we can only comfort ourself by saying "Probably it's just (hum-bin) a Hokkien term which means bad dreams.
Offering reassurance is the best thing to do, if you can't provide physical assurance at least try to provide a verbal one. I often say Why Le Xin, Mummy can hear you cry, don't be sad....I know you feel tired right? Sometimes it could be that she is hungry, even though it's just my assumption, at least I try my best to let her know that I care about how she feels.....Crying is really part and parcel of a child's life, don't take it too hard on yourself especially when an infant cries, place your child near to you and let her hear your heart beats then pat her gently that's when somehow you two will feel the connection.... CheerZ!