I unexpectedly (and reluctantly) moved back to my hometown. I unexpectedly fell for an old high school classmate, and he unexpectedly proposed to me. We unexpectedly found out I was pregnant, and we got married sooner than expected. Now, we're experiencing the unexpected daily...the good, the bad, the funny, the frustrating. Read all about it...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It's 4:30 AM: Do You Know Why Your Baby's Crying?

My son Jamari is a fairly good baby. He doesn't cry or whine for no reason; he only makes noise when he needs something, like a diaper change for the one millionth time.

In the same manner that I can see why someone would want to commit suicide, or becomes addicted to drugs, or resorts to illegal occupations like prostitution...I could see how people can reach the boiling point with their babies and end up violently shaking them out of frustration, especially if these people already have preexisting anger management issues.

It can be very annoying to hear a baby wail at the top of his or her lungs, craving attention and needing care. It's especially frustrating when you have no idea why the baby cries, or if you have a baby who tends to cry for no apparent reason. Throw in the fact that he or she is crying at ungodly hours, like at 4:30 in the morning, or at the worst possible times, like right before you have to leave for work.    

Like I said, I am so thankful Jamari does not cry for nothing. However, there were times when he would cry and I had no idea why. I eventually learned that it was because he either wanted to be held or moved from his crib to his beloved swing (which is, by the way, a savior! It soothes him right to sleep, and he cries a whole lot less when he's chillin' in it). But before I figured that out, I was afraid I had a colicky baby who wasn't going to let up no matter what I tried! There were nights when I had the nerve to say, "Shut up, already! You just ate, I just changed you, so there is nothing more you could possibly need! You're a freakin' baby!"

Thankfully, my frustrations were only verbal and I didn't actually scream at him; I only used a very stern (but severely irritated) voice. It was then that I learned that patience truly is a virtue, and a life saver to boot. Because if parents are easily angered, impatient, and lacking sleep, they may not take the time like I did to learn their baby; thus resulting in the unnecessary (and extremely, extremely sad)  infant deaths caused by Shaken Baby Syndrome.

Approximately 1,000 to 3,000 kids die each year in the United States because of Shaken Baby Syndrome (the link directs you to the New York State Department of Health, so click on it if you're interested in the facts of SBS). This is 100% percent avoidable, and NEEDS to be avoided. I am not an expert on how to soothe a crying baby; besides, every baby is different. Jamari is easy; others are not. All I know is that parents and caregivers need to feel their babies out, learn what they like and dislike, and eventually it'll get easier. But if you have a colicky baby and one who cries for no apparent reason...I don't have advice for that, except, whatever you do, DO NOT VIOLENTLY SHAKE YOUR CHILD!

For some people it is a whole lot easier said than done, but every effort must be made to remain patient so that you don't lose your cool and do something you will definitely regret later, and have to live with for the rest of your life. We must all understand that babies cannot talk, and their way of communicating is through crying. When I start to feel a little annoyed, I remember that there isn't anything else he can do but cry, and I think about what he's going to be like when he starts talking. And if he talks for as long as he cries, he's gonna be an earful! But who violently shakes someone who doesn't shut up? Not too many people, I'm guessing. That's just my little trick when I start to get fed up with the fussiness. Remember: it's their language.   

I know that this blog doesn't have a large following, but I hope that it reaches at least one person who needs to read this post.

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