"....when a baby cries, a mother's first instinct is to pick her up and comfort her. But when well-meaning friends or relatives see this, they often say that this will spoil the baby. 'Let her cry,' they say, 'it's good exercise for the lungs. Don't let the baby think you'll jump every time she cries.' As a new mum, you may never have had contact with new babies before, and these are experienced mothers. No one wants a spoiled baby on their hands - so you listen and then hesitate...You become confused and wonder what's really best to do."
Judy Wade and Val Hudson: Babylove
If you ask any woman who is a mother if she has ever been in this situation, felt such confusion and ended up discouraged - if she is honest, she will answer "yes".
At a time when a new mum wants to start 'right' and put any hopes she has about mothering into practice, this sort of experience can halt everything. She can completely loose confidence.
Research has proven that a baby under the age of one year does not have the mental development to think "to himself, 'If I cry and go on crying she will come and pick me up.'" says Dr Penelope Leach. So it is not possible for a baby at this age, to deliberately manipulate its mum in this way. Some child care experts say that it is not possible to spoil a baby in its first year of life.
So, what do you do, particularly when the baby has been fed, changed and played with and still won't settle?
A well-travelled mum gives this answer. "When I was in Africa I never heard a baby cry. I'm sure this is because Africian babies are never parted from their mothers. While she works, they usually ride in a blanket tied on her back. With stomach and chest pressed against the mother's body they get constant comfort and security while she works undisturbed. And they're happily rocked to sleep by the rhythm of her movements."
As for reasons why the baby would be crying, it could be as simple as that they want to be close to you - their Dad or Mum. A great, natural and normal desire for a baby to have.
There are so many brands of baby slings available today for newborns - a great gift for a new mum + a note on why she needs it.
Happy cuddles with your baby THIS WEEK WITH THE KIDS.