Is it cruel to let your baby cry?
This is a regularly asked question to Sassy Bloom especially among new mothers and it is a tough one to answer because it does come to personal experiences and is dependent on your baby as well.
When a young baby cries it is a natural instinct to rush and pick up your baby.
In the early days this is the best thing to do. Your baby is getting used to being in the big outside world and reassurance is sometimes all they need, to feel your touch to put them straight back to sleep.
There is a debate about whether you should let your young baby cry or not. Whilst it doesn’t harm your baby to cry a little, you should begin to recognise what your baby’s cries symbolise so you will begin to associate whether they are: hungry, tired, over stimulated or need changing etc and you can then begin to deal with each situation on an individual basis. It is certainly not acceptable to leave your newborn baby to cry uncontrollably and allow them to become distressed.
Mums are all busy and especially if you have other children you may not be able to go running every time your baby squeaks but it is important to ensure that you don’t leave your baby crying for extended periods of time. There is such a thing as “controlled crying” a controversial subject where baby’s are left for periods of time which get longer and longer, in between going in to comfort them. It has been recorded that leaving a new born to cry themselves to sleep can have a negative effect on their behavior.
As your baby gets older and starts to become a little more aware of their actions this routine can make things harder for you. For example if they cry during the evening; and each time you go in and get them out of the cot for a cuddle they can begin to see the pattern; so they may use this to their advantage and who wouldn’t when they know a lovely warm cuddle is in store?
As your baby gets older – with the above situation it may be better and more beneficial to you to go into your baby’s room and instead of picking them up, place your hand on their back or use your voice to reassure your baby to let them know that you are there.
If they have trouble settling on their own – try lying by the side of the cot whilst they go to sleep and slowly “retreat” out of the room moving slowly to the door over a period of time. Sometimes they just need the reassurance that they haven’t been left on their own. And sometimes they are just playing games and driving us parents up the walls. it is hard sometimes to know which but stay calm and patient with them as they can sense your tensions which can make it worse,
If you have any comments on sleeping patterns or letting your baby cry then please let us know below.