This Might Surprise You: But Crying is Beneficial by Dr. Lynne Kenney

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When Crying is Beneficial

Most of us try to keep baby from crying. Yet crying is a healthy form of communication, it strengthens the lungs and even assists in eye health.

Your new baby’s crying can be heartbreaking. You want to respond to every whimper, and, in a perfect world, cease the crying altogether. But, keep in mind that your baby’s crying is his way of communicating with you. Listening and responding appropriately is far more important than trying to stop it.

• Learn your baby’s different cries
With some time and attention, you may be able to see that your baby cries differently for different needs. You’ll soon find that you can distinguish between when he’s hungry, tired or wet just by listening to his cry. Listen to his cries and learn what calms him, then you’ll know better, next time, what he’s trying to communicate to you. This is beneficial, because it will help you to respond to his needs more quickly and it will help you to spot when something is out of the ordinary.

• Crying helps babies sleep
Studies have shown that babies who cry themselves to sleep actually sleep more soundly. So, it’s ok to put your baby to bed and let him cry until he falls asleep if he’s tired and it’s time for sleeping. Crying is great exercise and can make babies fall asleep faster, too.

• Crying releases tension
Crying is your baby’s only form of communication for quite some time. It’s normal for babies to cry in the late afternoon or early evening just because its been a long day. Consider it baby venting!

• Understand that crying is cyclical
Doctors say that crying follows a developmental curve. From birth, crying increases at two or three weeks of age, peaks between six and eight weeks, and then slows down after that, generally hitting its lowest level by around four months. So, if your baby is crying more, it might just be part of the cycle.

Crying can also signal – Time to call the doctor

As you can see, most crying is normal. But, there are times when crying indicates a real problem. If your baby cries abnormally, check for fever or other signs of illness. In babies prior to 4 months of age, crying can mean colic. Crying can also signal constipation, abdominal pain, or environmental sensitivity (to lights, touch and sound). No crying at all can also be worrisome; very sick children become too weak to cry. If you notice that your child is crying more or less in a way that is not normal for him, don’t be afraid to call your pediatrician.

Babies were born to cry, it’s a natural part of their development. So listen, learn and relax. Being a cry baby can be good thing.

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