Friday, August 31, 2007

Why does my baby cry?

I've often pondered why my DS cries. When he was newly born, I swear he cried just to see me and my DH freak out. Oh my God, what's wrong.. Is he hurt? Did I do something wrong? I was convinced that somehow I was harming him, but I was wrong.

Nowadays it seems that I can instantly tell why he is crying. It's usually only a couple of things - and let's face it, I'd cry to if I could get away with it: Hunger, Tired, Overstimulated, and Constipated.

Let's start with hunger... a very basic need for us all. My little man has recently begun to grab the bottle and shove it anywhere near his mouth. I think it's cute. He's trying to be independent, but doesn't yet have the whole "hold the bottle with two hands by myself" thing down yet. Please note -- that if the wee one wakes from a nap or a restful night's sleep, that bottle better be ready and waiting! Otherwise - he will scream bloody murder. Most of the time I just giggle at him - course that makes him madder!

Ok - we all get cranky when we are tired. I don't care if you are 5 months or 50 years old, no one likes to be tired. However, with a little one, it's a little different. When babies get tired they will usually give you some warning signs like rubbing eyes, or ears, or yawning (duh), but sometimes we grown ups miss these signs and the sweet cherubic smile becomes a demonic howl. Usually, the best thing to do is hold them close to you and just move (i.e. rock, sway, any kind of walking around). This usually works, but not always.

On to overstimulated... Most people (read non parents) don't realize that babies can get overstimulated quite quickly in some situations. Usually, this happens when a baby is around new people, sounds, and environments. Case in point -- Dear Brother and Sister-in-Law agreed to babysit DS so that mommy and daddy could go on a date. I know, imagine it! When DS was dropped off to auntie and uncle he was mostly content, but still rather peeved that we had been in the car (and car seat) most of the day. So hubby and I leave bouncing baby boy in a house that he had never been to and with people he'd never seen before. Now I should have prefaced the story to say that my brother told me the night before that I was dropping C off at his friends house who was having a BBQ and that they would bring C over to their house later in the afternoon. I didn't think this was a good idea, but I had no choice as we already had purchased concert tickets and I had no other babysitter at the time. This may not end well I thought to myself.

So in true overstimulated baby land fashion - the little man wailed for about 3 hours. By the time we returned to pick C up, both Aunt and Uncle were completely zonked on the couch. I looked around and finally found little C slouched in his carrier car seat sans clothes (only wearing a diaper) with a large blanket draped over the car seat. Aunt and Uncle just kept muttering.... "he wouldn't stop crying, he wouldn't stop crying." I think they have recovered and may entertain the idea of babysitting again, but hopefully it will only take place in one location and will be in surroundings that he knows.

This leads me to the last topic: constipation. This is often a source of parental woe with a newborn. Your life revolves around poo: when, where, how much, consistency (yes, I just wrote that). So when your little darling has a problem with the poo - it becomes your life's work to get him or her to go "numero dos." While trying to figure out what was agitating my dear son's system, we were faced with some pretty heinous evenings that included the "rocket" (aka glycerin suppository) to facilitate a happy ending. Yes, I know it's gross, but sometimes you gotta do what it necessary to provide relief! Failure to provide relief leads to to a VERY unhappy baby.

So all in all, we can usually figure out why the wee man is crying and resolve the matter quickly. I often laugh to myself and look back on the months that have passed since he was born. We were so inept initially - I know it's a test and I think we've passed so far. We've got a long way to go, but it sure is going fast!

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