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Smack Smack…. WAAAHHHHHH!!!!! In the movies the stereotypical image of a doctor smacking a baby’s bottom and the baby crying was what was portrayed in earlier movies and television. Although, that is not actually how it goes down, the first sound that we as a new mom anticipate hearing is the cry of our baby. Oh how sweet that sound is. It is the indication that their lungs, the last organ to develop, are working and your baby is thriving with life. The next few hours and even days, that sweet little cry is cherished. Our little bundle doesn’t even have to get a full whine out before we hop into action. Even a face of discontent sends us into problem solving mode. We immediately go down our checklist, are they hungry, wet, gassy, sleepy, etc.
Our new alarm clock sounds at all times of the day and night. What started out so sweet, can soon turn into a sound we dread hearing. Let’s be honest, how many of us have heard our baby cry and roll our eyes and think, “what now”, or “am I the only one hearing this”. If you are dealing with this now maybe you don’t see it as comical to have these thoughts and feelings, but more of frustration. You are not alone, and no you are not a bad person for feeling annoyed. A famous theorist Eric Erikson noted that this stage in a baby’s development is noted as Trust vs. Mistrust. During this stage the baby is learning to trust their parent to provide and take care of their needs and if the parent doesn’t then Erikson believed that the baby will start to mistrust their parent.
I believe that without even knowing this theory this is what we moms fear. We believe if I let my baby cry to long or if I am not the one to meet their needs our baby won’t feel love and cared for. Let me tell you this is not true. Our little bundle of joy is growing and developing brain cells and starting to understand that crying equals satisfaction. Remember your baby’s “alarm” is their only way to communicate in beginning, for them to express any form of discomfort, it is not any indication of you doing anything wrong
Our baby’s cry acts as an alarm, and just like with any new job we rise immediately getting to work in a timely fashion. As time goes by allow yourself to hit the snooze button. Let family and friends help you out so that you may get some more rest. As months go by the alarm will learn how to automatically turn off as your baby learns to self soothe, and eventually the alarm will sound at predictable times and less frequent. If you are not at that point with your child, have hope and know that those days are coming and if you are past that point, you can smile and thank the Lord that you survived.