second thoughts on infant crying

After the birth of my youngest daughter’s first child, I wrote that, though I understood that crying is essential for adults and children, with infants it’s wise to comfort, rock, and walk them when they cry.

I think different now that I am with my daughter and her second baby. This time around, after she checks for everything: diaper, nursing, comfort in all ways, and the baby continues to cry, she holds her and listens. Usually the little one will cry for two to ten minutes with the deepest strongest baby wails and then she is finished. She will either sleep or nurse and be very relaxed.

I remember as a young mother hating the practice of leaving an infant or older baby to cry alone in its crib. I still do. This is different. The trusted caretaker holds the baby, looks at her, makes comforting sounds, but allows the baby to finish the crying.

It’s easier on both the mom and the baby.