It can be tough being a new parent. Newborn babies can cry for so many reasons, and when you're new to parenthood, it can be hard to determine the cause.
As a result, lots of new parents are left feeling as though they don't have the confidence to effectively look after their baby. A lack of confidence leads to negativity, which can contribute to other post-natal problems like depression, anxiety and a lack of emotional bond.
Of course there's no easy way to understand a baby's needs, when their only method of communicating is crying. However, it's helpful to think about the many causes of crying, and how we often interpret crying as a physical cause of pain or need, when in fact it could be down to emotional causes.
Think about when you see an adult cry. Do you immediately assume it's down to physical discomfort, or pain? More than likely, you'll guess it's down to an emotion - whether that be sadness, loneliness, fear or stress. While there's no evidence to prove that baby's can cry for emotional reasons (because they can't tell us!), there's no reason to think that they might not be experiencing these very natural, human emotions too.
So take a look at this chart of crying causes. It's amazing to think there can be nearly as many emotional causes for crying as there are physical, and there are so many more that aren't included here. This chart can help new parents understand the wide variety of causes, and appreciate how new baby's have SO much going on. There's no need to doubt your confidence, when there are so many things that can be affecting your baby's mood. The good news is, YOU'RE the one that can help, resolve or soothe these problems. And as you get to know your baby, you'll get better and better at figuring our their emotions.
Baby massage is often touted as a great method for communicating with your baby. Not only does the quality time you spend together develop your bond, it also allows you to communicate with your baby through eye contact, touch and with your voice. Babies can also give you signals, such as smiling, cooing or eye contact, to convey their good mood (just as they can signal a bad mood with crying, avoiding eye contact or restlessness).
You'll also learn more about crying, behavioural states and communicating when you take a baby massage course. Which means the skills and knowledge you learn can help you boost your confidence in the early months, and help you determine why your baby might be crying, unhappy or uncomfortable. Find out more about baby massage classes here.