The expert: Stéphane Clerget, child psychiatrist
As adults, we have different ways of communicating to make ourselves understood. Small children have one of them in particular: they cry. “Babies have their own way of communicating, and this is done chiefly by crying, especially in the first few months of life », explains first Dr. Stéphane Clerget, child psychiatrist in Paris.
Why is the baby crying?
For the professional and no offense to parents “Fortunately tears flow”. In fact, it is a vital skill for the survival of the child and therefore of the species, as a baby depends on its parents to take care of it. “For a baby, crying is his way of expressing himself, communicating about a need”. In fact, by crying, a baby tells its parents that it is hungry or thirsty, hot or cold, needs changing or cuddles. That’s normal then. The opposite, the specialist Author of the “100 tips from the child psychologist” (Marabout Editions), pay more attention to the children who cry little or not at all. “That is the case in some forms of autism very early. Like Kanner’s autism. In this case, from the first months, the child is very unexpressive. And that should put the flea in the ear of the parents, who must report it in consultation.
Baby cries a lot: what to do?
When a baby starts crying, whether in his sleep or not, the first thing to do is respond their basic needs : We give him food (bottle or breast), change his diapers, cover him up or uncover him depending on the temperature of the room he is in, even put our arms around him to hug him. “A parent can become confused by his baby’s crying. It is therefore necessary without haste try to understand what is happening to him”adds dr clerget added. Then, when your basic needs are met, you have to think about possible pain, and see if the child has a fever, for example, or calm his colic by rocking him a little. This creates and secures bonds.
Should a Baby Cry Before Bed?
“We are mammals, and like all beings of this class, we have mammals need for interaction. A toddler is no exception. Whether it’s expressing an essential need or just wanting to see your parents, why not respond? », emphasizes the specialist. Parents need to spend time with their child, especially when they see little, mostly at the end of the day and on weekends. “There is no no interest in leaving a child aloneexcept to teach him to sleep, for Stephane Clerget.
Soothe baby before bedtime and soothe baby at night
For the expert, there is no point in letting the baby cry alone in his bed. “In this case, we can take time to calm the child at least half an hour to give him time to fall asleep or at least prepare him for the parting day of the night, especially if the cot is not in the parents’ room. Then we can come back to see him when he wakes up, spend some time with him. And if that doesn’t work, we can let him cry a little before we visit him again. The so-called 5 -10 15 method can be effective at this point.” Details the specialist
How to calm a toddler at night as soon as you put him to bed?
The 5-10-15 method is to soothe your child, then put them to sleep, then wait 5 minutes before you see them when they cry, soothe them and put them back to bed without picking them up. If he cries again after leaving the room, you must then wait 10 minutes before going over to him, calming him down, and leaving the room. If he’s still crying, you need to wait another 15 minutes before going over to him and calming him down, and then leave the room. And if it doesn’t work after these three attempts, you have to hold the child in your arms and calm it down.
Crying Baby: Crying discharges for him, a source of stress for parents
After all, crying is a source of calm for a baby. Those are sometimes tears of dismissal. “When we cry, our body releases certain hormones called endorphins. They participate in the appeasement we feel when we’re done crying » says dr clerget. However, for parents, their child’s incessant crying can be a source of anxiety or stress. Be careful not to give in to anger in these cases! As a matter of fact, « 1 in 10 shocked children die, and the others will suffer the consequences of this mistreatment for the rest of their lives! » warns the government side. Some recommendations to remember if you are in trouble, you must:
– Put the baby safely in his bed, put him on his back. There is no danger in leaving him alone in this position;
– Leave the room for a few minutes ;
– Breathe and concentrate onto something else to regain his composure
– If possible, call a family member to talk about it or to ask someone to take over;
– Ask for help Share your fears and doubts with those around you and with professionals.
Emergency numbers exist:
– line “Hello Childhood in Peril” the National Helpline for Children in Danger (SNATED). Can be contacted at 119 available 24/7
– A help and bugging number: line “Hello Baby Parents” of the Association Childhood and Sharing. Can be contacted at 0 800 00 34 56, from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m
Instinct can be a bad guide
It’s a phrase that comes up a lot: “When the baby cries, trust your instincts to act.” for dr Stéphane Clerget, however We’re not really talking about instinct. “We’re more likely to remember what we knew as a kid, whether we had a little brother or a little sister. Because children are very empathetic and closer to non-verbal language than adults. So rather of the order of remembering what we knew as children as instinct”, explains the expert. Above all, the expert recognizes the value of experience, which can provide answers. “A parent is much more comfortable with a second or third child than with the first. With experience, learn to recognize crying ». Rest assured that as the days go by, you will become better and better at interpreting your child’s cries.