Understanding When a Baby Cries – Effective Reactions

Elevated Baby (6-12 Months)The Baby.

So cute. So cuddly. You want to play all day.

But you also have work.

Chores. Sleep.

A baby does not speak.

His facial expressions and cries are his words.

Determining Cause of Cries

Once my cousin told me – when the baby cries it could mean one of three things:

a) Time for Feeding
b) Diaper Change
c) Colic or other discomfort

Pretty simple.

You can feel the baby’s hands to know if it is cold.

Holding the baby will comfort.

Sometimes the baby cries before sleeping. It is perfectly normal. I sometimes sing when I am tired. The baby has another way to tell you it wants to sleep.

Take care of the three above and usually the baby will calm down.

Knowing Priorities

At times you are deeply involved in an important project.

You just have to get it done.

The baby has been crying – and you are trying to sleep.

Now what?

First, know what is more important – your baby is more important than your job, your project or your sleep. That helps put things into perspective.


You have to have patience.

Exercise your patience in other things. When you feel angry speak calmly. Read the “letter of the Ramban” or books like “Anger – the Inner Teacher, by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin” which talk about how to avoid anger.

Patience is built slowly but surely. When you feel anger or stress welling up inside – think to yourself “I have to remain calm.” Think of pleasant thoughts.

Never Take it out on the Baby

Many mothers and fathers were in the situation where they were fed up and took it out on the baby.

They regretted the second after.

But it was too late.

The hospitals tell new mothers – never shake a baby.

It is true. Never shake a baby.

Let someone else take over

If you are fed up let someone else take over.

Take a small break. But don’t take it out on the baby.

Prepare Mentally

Mentally prepare yourself for stressful situations – and think out how to deal with them – when they arise.

Letting the baby cry a bit is ok. But not too long.

Imagine, a baby is crying – and a mother or caretaker yells at it. It is akin to one going to a fast food restaurant and ordering food. All of a sudden a burly man comes out and yells at the customer “Why are you talking so loud!” Sounds ridiculous, but unfortunately it happens.

You order food by talking. The baby orders food by crying.

Think – the baby is crying because it has a need. I must try to find a way to find that need and fulfill it. Then it will stop crying.

Shema Yisrael Lul-a-bye

Sing a lul-a-bye – a tune with nice words like the Shema Yisrael.

The Shema Yisrael is good to sing every night to the baby and children. It helps them to learn belief in G-d and helps them avoid having nightmares.

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