Thursday, June 18, 2009

Just How Much Can You Tolerate a Crying Baby?

Having been in the womb for nine months, a baby is dependent on her mother for everything – food, oxygen, shelter, and protection. Everything is being served to the baby on the spot without even saying “hey where’s my…” – VIP treatment.

But the moment a baby is born, she is introduced to a new environment – a permanent place for her to adapt for the rest of her life. And this period of adaption is going to be a tough one for her.

That’s why new born babies cry a lot – and I mean a LOT. Other than a few giggles, crying is what makes up their initial communication library.

Baby cries when she’s hungry. She probably never felt the sting of an empty stomach when she’s still in the womb. She never had used her mouth to eat; food was directly supplied through the umbilical cord. But now that baby is out, she doesn’t have anything to ease her hunger. It hurts and she cries.

Baby cries when she’s wet. While still inside the womb, your baby is surrounded by a protective fluid (amniotic liquid). So those who knew would naturally assume the baby would have some tolerance to a wet nappy. Assuming the baby doesn’t really mind, but prolonged skin contact against urine-soaked nappy triggers the skin to send “hey I’m about to get rashes”-type of signals to her brain. It irritates her and she cries.

Baby cries when she has a poop. As with baby pee, baby poop can easily cause skin rashes if not cleaned immediately.

Cutting it short, babies cry for a lot of things that bothers them. If your ears are not well trained enough to analyze the subtle variances between these cries, chances are you’ll get frustrated trying to figure out what they really want.

I had my share of short-temperedness way back when my baby kept on crying and, at the same time, I desperately wanted to get even a few hours of sleep. Good thing for me and wife, my in-laws were just a couple of knocks away. They’re almost always ready to lend an extra hand (even in the middle of the night) while I rush back to sleep.

My baby ended up kind of spoiled by my in-laws though. She probably figured that by crying she’ll get attention plus a new present each time. I can’t blame my in-laws because my then two month old baby cries louder than any four year old we knew.

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