NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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Actions Speak Louder than Words

Actions Speak Louder than Words - 9/2/16
Parents fill their baby with love each time they do something positive in caring for him or her.  Those things will also help build trust between you and your baby, and that’s a good thing!  Babies who learn to trust their parent cry less and grow better.


The positive, caring things you can do include responding to the baby to meet his or her needs.  Some examples include:

    - picking up and calming the baby when he/she cries

   - feeding the baby while holding him/her

   - changing the baby’s diaper

   -   giving the baby a bath

   -   cuddling the baby

   -   smiling at, playing with, and talking to the baby using a kind voice and kind words

A baby’s smile is precious.  Babies smile spontaneously when they are happy and feel safe, loved, and cared for by their parents. 

A baby’s crying can be upsetting and frustrating for a parent.  It is important to remember that the baby is not crying in an effort to make you feel bad.  Babies cry because they cannot explain their wants and needs.   As a parent, think through why the baby is crying.  Perhaps he or she is hungry, tired, too hot or too cold, wet, lonely, afraid, sick or in pain, or overstimulated by too much activity or noise. 

When a baby cries, show your love and care by attending to him/her as quickly as possible.  Answering their cry will not “spoil” them.  In fact, just the opposite; it will build trust. 

Ignoring the baby when he/she cries causes him/her to feel unprotected, worried, unimportant, and helpless.  Withholding love and attention has lasting effects. 

On the other hand, responding to the baby’s cries helps the baby feel protected, calm, important, and supported.  The love and attention we give a baby will be with him or her forever.  That’s a much prettier picture!

If your baby continues to cry despite all your best efforts, and you begin to feel upset, put your child safely back in his or her crib, and take a very short break in another room.  It’s OK to call someone to come help you and your baby calm down. 

People often treat their children the same way they were treated by their parents.  This is reassuring if you were treated well as a baby and a child.  However, if you were treated poorly, you may want and need to learn new ways to parent.  It can be hard work to make changes.

Please contact me to learn more about being the parent your child wants, needs, and deserves. 

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/baby-crying-child-small-grief-sad-215303/   (downloaded 9/7/16)

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