Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Just Like Mama

A dry brush. An empty tray. A 14-month-old just wants to do everything Mama does.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Reflections: Newborn Crying

There are few sounds more shrill than a newborn's cry.

Often those first three months are deemed the hardest.

You have very little sleep. If it's your first you probably have more than if you have older kids. On top of hardly any sleep you are recovering from birth. Then there's the whole figuring out what baby needs on top of your own needs.

Here's a tiny new human.  Totally helpless. Your responsibility.  Unable to communicate except by crying and wow can it cry. Frequently and furiously.  Sometimes a new parent may be so frustrated trying to figure out what this shrill shrieking means.

Diaper? No. Baby is dry.
Ok then. How about cold?
No again.
Hot? Strike three.
Hungry? A few sucks but obviously not hungry.
Well let's rock or bounce while crying on the phone or babycenter's boards for a sympathetic ear.

Newborn days are hardest you may reassured.
If you can't calm baby, baby is dry and full just step back. Get a cup of tea and realize sometimes newborns just cry.
That's what experienced moms all seem to say.

I've heard it many times over.

Then suddenly you hear a little toot toot! Baby's now ok.
Well. If only you'd known baby was gassy. They're so right. Newborn days are hard.

Yet few people seem to realize some of these confusing cries may actually mean something.  The cries may have similar sounds. They may start out quiet and grow intense rapidly when you don't magically know what baby needs. I've been in stores before as I've watched a mom hover over her precariously balanced car seat on the shopping cart trying to figure out what baby wants. Depending on the newborn's cry I've found myself wanting to run up and say "He's just hungry. She needs help sleeping. " Not always as I get further from the newborn stage again but it does happen.
I think 4 months up the crying for both F and T was more difficult to discern than the newborn stage.

Before T was born I bought books and films. Some were better than others. My top three had to do with being in tune to baby. One of those was by a musician with a photographic memory for sound.  She has isolated five basic sounds newborns make based on their needs. S and I started applying it in the hospital with T. It was great.  Even with a very fussy baby. Worked well until baby began playing with sound. Four years later when F was born (a very different, happier personality) we applied Dunstan Baby Language again. More success. 

You can bet if we are blessed with a third child we will be listening for these five universal cries.