Why do babies cry?

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Marie-Ange Demory
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The baby's crying

Why is a baby crying? For attention

Why do babies cry? "Crying attracts the attention of parents. Especially if the volume is high, the effectiveness of crying is certain because the parent cannot help but listen," explains pediatrician Laurel Schultz in an interview with the American medical journal WebMD. . We are not talking about the crying of the newborn or infant. In this case the situation is different.

Read the article How to understand a baby's cry.

The cry of children after the year

The crying mentioned in this article is that of older children, from one to two years upwards. Well, for these children crying is not a conscious strategy, but a behavior they have learned - and parents often have a big responsibility. Because?

The reason is quickly explained, says the American pediatrician. Let's take a child and make him ask mom or dad something in a kind and polite way. If the parent, perhaps because he is thinking of something else, will not answer his request the first or second time, the child will try to turn up the volume.

The young child, in particular, will start screaming loudly to get the parent's attention or to throw a tantrum. The older child, on the other hand, having acquired more self-control, will likely begin to cry and moan.

Pay attention to the child

Do you want to avoid this vicious circle? The American pediatrician advises parents not to wait for children to reach the 'stress' phase before giving them attention.

"Is important respond immediately to the request, if possible - says the pediatrician -. And if it's not possible because you're on the phone or in the middle of a conversation, still look for a contact with your child's eyes and lift a finger, so the child will know that in a minute he will have your attention. Then give your child the attention he requires as soon as possible. "In short, do not stay on the phone for half an hour in a row if it is not necessary ...

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… And then provide a role model

When the baby starts crying and moaning, parents should take a deep breath and remind themselves that the child is not going to be irritating, adds Becky Bailey, an educator and developmental psychologist. The child, as mentioned above, is asking for help.

Parents should respond to his request and then provide the child with a role model. For example, they might say softly to the child "instead of crying, tell me what you want" and then suggest "Mommy please give me milk?" It is also important to teach the child the right sentence and the right tone.

Read also: How to teach children to respect the rules

What to do if the baby doesn't stop crying

If the baby continues to cry and the parents are sure it's not pain or illness coming, Bailey suggests looking beyond the crying of the moment and doing a little self-examination:

  • Have I been more busy during this period?
  • Was I more nervous?
  • Has the baby's routine changed?
  • is there a reason the child is asking us for more attention?

Often crying is a signal, the signal that it is time to reconnect with our son.

How to act? Giving a few (quality) minutes of attention a day

How to find the contact? The child psychologist suggests spending more 'quality' time with the child by reading a fairy tale, cooking together or doing other activities that the child enjoys. The important thing is that the parent doesn't think about anything else.

"A few minutes of real attention to your children, once or twice a day, can make a huge difference in their growth," concludes the psychologist.

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