Your Baby's Emotional Development
The idea is that the child needs to learn to become independent and to must be met in any given day in order to achieve emotional stability. Your baby's social and emotional development will benefit from all the protection, persistent crying usually stops in months three or four. Attachment parents are aware of the possible emotional damage from leaving babies to cry alone, so they strive to meet their babies' needs for.
Crying is thought to be excessive if it happens for more than 3 hours a day for more than 3 days a week. Excessive crying is sometimes called colic. They are usually feeding and gaining weight normally.
If your baby cries excessively, it can be very tiring and confusing trying to work out why — and what to do. You may also get a lot of advice from many different people, but consider only what is safe and feels right for you. Crying and illness There are times when your baby will cry because they are sick. See your doctor or child health nurse if: If your baby is 3 months or younger and has a fever, see a doctor straight away.
However, you should never shake your baby.
Shaking your baby can cause bleeding in their brain, leading to brain damage and even death. If you feel you are losing control, leave your baby in a safe place for 5 minutes while you calm down. Where to get help Talk to your doctor or child health nurse if you are concerned about your baby, or if you find it difficult to cope or to feel positive about your baby.
You can also call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on for advice or support 7 days a week. Australian Breastfeeding Association Why is my baby crying?
Opens in a new window. Insecure attachment — avoidant: Insecure attachment — disorganized: Children are not predictable in their behavior, seem unable to cope easily or be comforted when stressed, and show evidence of fear or confusion around a parent. Proponents of this practice argue that babies cry for two reasons: After parents have ruled out any identifiable need, they are told that the baby is crying to heal from some trauma or distress, perhaps even from the prenatal or birth experience.
They believe that the baby must cry and rage to release tensions, and that any attempt to soothe the baby will prevent this release. They advocate holding a baby while he cries but caution against any behaviors that may comfort the crying, such as jiggling, patting, rocking, singing, swinging, repetitive noises, comfort nursing, and pacifiers.
They suggest there is a quota for tears that must be met in any given day in order to achieve emotional stability. Parents are to hold their infants and let them cry, and not try to calm the baby with distractions such as toys or pacifiers.
While API agrees that the parent should recognize and empathize with the crying child, we also believes parents should be available emotionally and physically to help soothe the distressed child. The fundamental flaw with this advice is that it assumes the parent will always be able to identify the needs and discomforts of the child.
Unfortunately, this is unrealistic and unwise.
Of course, the baby will quickly become enraged but not because of any unspent tears over previous trauma. Rather, he will be agonizingly distressed with frustration about the inappropriate reaction from the parent. In its most extreme application, proponents of these practices suggest that sometimes children need to be held tightly while they cry, so that they have physical resistance to push against while they work through their emotions. API does not support the use of attachment therapy, which we find to be abusive.
Attachment therapy practice are not consistent with the Eight Principles of Parenting. Children feel real and intense pain over events that adults are able to put into perspective through a background of experience and context.
Bribing a child to stop crying can lead to unhealthy emotional behaviors. There are times when a child is sad or upset and needs to release emotions through crying. In these instances, it is possible to accept and empathize with the emotions, helping him put feelings into words and comforting the distress, without either encouraging or discouraging continued crying.
This emotion may surface at the time of the event, or some time later. Emotions from events that occur when a child is separated from his parents may not surface until after they are reunited, and may be triggered by seemingly unrelated events.
Child development 0–3 months
While children do need to release these emotions, they should be in control of when, how, and for how long they cry, and they need to know that a warm, compassionate parent will help to soothe their distress. Once children begin to release their emotions and their brain becomes flooded with stress hormones, they are developmentally unable to bring themselves back into balance alone.
Babies need to be held and comforted when they cry. Each time they are assisted in this process, their brains form pathways that will serve them through the rest of their lives. If a child is raised in an environment where crying is discouraged or punished, then he may need help in adulthood learning to connect with and to express emotions.
Babies, however, do not need encouragement to cry.
It is an instinctual reaction to an unmet need and a basic way of communicating. Encouraging or provoking crying runs counter to current brain research showing that children need parents to soothe them through their intense emotions.
AP is Best for Crying Babies A Harvard University study indicated that parenting methods that allow babies to cry without attempting to soothe are detrimental to normal child development, and that a better approach to crying is to keep the baby close, console quickly, and co-sleep.
In their research, Michael L. Commons and Patrice M. Commons and Miller found that American childrearing practices are influenced mainly by fears of children growing up dependent and insecure. The research showed that attachment-promoting behaviors between the parent and child, including responding quickly and appropriately to crying, has been proven in other cultures to be effective in raising children to become empathic, nonviolent adults who are capable of having emotionally healthy relationships.
The AP Approach to Crying Fortunately for parents and babies alike, there is a warm and compassionate middle ground between ignoring and encouraging crying.
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Parents who practice Attachment Parenting AP are familiar with this ground. If a parent is unsure why a baby is crying, she can continue to explore potential causes while comforting him in a way that accepts his emotions as genuine and acceptable. The parent can allow her baby to express emotion without denial or provocation, while soothing him in a way that teaches his brain healthy forms of emotional regulation.
Experiencing this each time the child cries helps his body learn how to manage his emotions. If the parent is stressed, she will be unable to provide a calming presence for the baby.
It is important that she find a way to restore personal balance as quickly as possible. If her reaction stems from unresolved issues from her own childhood, she should consider seeking help from a parenting counselor.