Crying as Communication

February 28, 2007 at 7:50 pm Leave a comment

A Mama and Child in the Sacred Valley In PeruAll babies cry. Some more than others. Don’t panic there are many things you can do to help your child – and your sanity!

Many parents find if they attend to their babies need for close contact with their parents from birth, their children become secure within themselves. This style of parenting is sometimes called attachment parenting.

Attachment Parenting is a philosophy based on the practice of nurturing parenting methods that create strong emotional bonds, also known as secure attachment, between the infant and parent(s). This style of parenting encourages responsiveness to the infant or child’s emotional needs, and develops trust that their emotional needs will be met. As a result, this strong attachment helps the child develop secure, empathic, peaceful, and enduring relationships. To learn more, check out the attachment parenting website at

A Mama and Child in the Sacred Valley In PeruBabies love their mamas and papas more than anything else and just yearn to be near you. Many parents find a baby carrier is the perfect solution allowing baby to be close to you and easy access for breast feeding. Often parents who use their baby carriers daily find their baby settles well. Tribal women carry their babies for most of the time- during the cleaning, washing, cooking and working in the fields. There are some excellent ones on the market such as hug-a-bub and baba slings. Check out our resources page for more details.

Swaddling your baby can also be a useful technique to help soothe them. This involves wrapping your baby with his hands by his sides in a rug – an ancient technique used by women for centuries.

Some babies love music-experiment with different types of music to find out what your baby likes. My daughter loved Beethoven and Vivaldi. Many babies love pan flutes or soft lullabys. But your voice is the most wonderful music to their ears – even if you think you are tone deaf your baby can’t tell. Remember some of the songs sung to you as a child or just improvise. Singing to your baby usually helps Mama feel more calm and the baby feels this energy.

Try taking your baby outside to lie under a shady tree for a short time, protected from the sun. Babies love to watch the leaves and the kaleidoscope of colours in the sky.

If you have been with your baby all day, maybe pass them over to their Papa for a while as babies are very sensitive to the energy of people around them. If you have been caring for an upset baby for an extended period of time it is natural for you to feel a bit stressed which the child will reflect back to you.

Find a friendly grandmother nearby – they seem to have the magic touch! Speaking of touch, learn how to massage your baby using a gentle oil like almond oil or jojoba oil. Make it a part of the nightly bath routine. Slow and gentle – a beautiful relaxing sensory experience for you and your baby.

If you are at all concerned, ask for advice from your local baby health clinic or health care providor or call one of the 24 hour hotlines such as Tresillian. It is wise to ask for advice if your baby has been crying for any extended period of time. Follow your intuition as to when your baby is just unsettled and when there may be deeper cause for their distress.

Do not be afraid to spoil your child. Young babies only know their immediate needs. They are not trying to manipulate you but just expressing their desires or discomforts in the only way they know how – crying. It is an important form of communication for them.

Wouldn’t you get frustrated too if you were stuck inside that little body and couldn’t talk or walk and were dependent on others for everything! And don’t believe the old ‘crying is good exercise for the lungs” story. If you leave your baby to ‘cry it out’ you are teaching them that their needs are not important to you and that perhaps the world is not such a kind, loving place after all.

BUT if at any time you are feeling so crazy from your baby’s crying that you are feeling like you want to hurt them, please put them in a safe place and go and call a friend or a hotline. Take some deep breaths, punch a pillow or kick box the bed (as long as your partner is not in it!) until you are feeling calmer and more centred. It is very common for mamas to feel this way – babies bring out the extremes of emotion in all of us.

And don’t despair this stage too will pass, like all the experiences of parenting
(and life!).

by Michelle Meares

“Be not afraid to touch,
naked body to naked body,
to sleep with your baby,
to nurse very often and orgasmically,
to feel your own pain, anger and frustrations
and express them as purely as your baby will.
Tune into your own mother within for nourishment”

Jeannine Parvati Baker


Entry filed under: Baby, Children, Parenting.

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