This is doing the rounds on Facebook at the moment and I just wanted to share my thoughts as a mother of three and a practitioner who has worked with hundreds of new parents…
I don’t do judging, parenting is really fucking hard and we all need to find what works for us but advice like this makes me angry. Dishing out words like “be strong-minded, not to scoop him into your arms to comfort him” and “some babies scream so hard they are sick” and then leaving parents to struggle helplessy while also trying to change the sheets without picking up their baby is not wise or helpful and it could even be considered dangerous.
When we seek this type of advice, it is usually because we are struggling with lack of sleep, with having no control, with being a parent and what we need is support, reassurance, someone to listen, realistic expectations and to know that our baby’s need for comfort is normal and not only is it normal, it is ok.
A baby is a small person who probably can’t self soothe, who needs cuddles, reassurance and comfort from his parents, who isn’t capable of regulating his temperature, his breathing or his heart rate for months – HE NEEDS YOU TO DO THIS FOR HIM.
A baby who cries isn’t manipulating, he has a need, he may have many needs. These needs might not be physical – he may be fed, clean, comfortable – but it could be emotional – he may need to feel safe and parents are the safety net, the buck stops with you.
You don’t have to cry it out, it isn’t the norm and all parents don’t do it – although seeing these words in a popular book may give the impression that this is what you should be doing with your baby.
So please just cuddle your baby, do pick him up and soothe him, please don’t let him get so distressed that he is sick, and if you are struggling and in need of some support, ideas and reassurance, seek out some good help and look at the alternatives.
Since when were cuddles and love bad things?
a specialist in pregnancy, birth and early parenting