Chapter 3: Cuddles and Cries!

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When Ayaansh was born and we brought him home (at my mother’s place), all I wanted to do was cuddle him, soothe him when he cries, make him sleep next to me and hold him. This is what every mother dreams of, to hold her baby, to be the cocoon to her little angel! But, unfortunately, my in-laws had a better plan – to put him in a dhooli (a swaddle made up of long 9-yard cotton saree). Few of you might ask me, what’s wrong in that? It has been practiced in our country for almost ages! So, let me give you the rationale!
1. The distance between my bed and the dhooli was about 5 feet! So everytime he cried/ or needed to be breastfed, I had to get down from my bed, bend a little and pick him up or had to rely on others to pick him up and give me.
2. The distance between the Dhooli and the floor was more than a feet and half and the there was nothing underneath.
3. As per science, the first 3 months of baby’s life is called 4th Trimester, which means the baby needs warmth and womb-like feeling from his/her mother. The baby has to feel extremely comfortable, cozy and in womb, and who else can provide him these better than a mother.
4. And most importantly, THIS IS THE BONDING TIME BETWEEN A MOTHER & A CHILD! So nobody takes it from me!

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And with this, let me begin the forgotten and most undermined topic of Parenting Essentials that starts from C!

Chapter 3: C for CUDDLES AND CRIES in Parenting Essentials!

CUDDLES:

When you are a new parent (especially a mother) you are in a mix of emotions and there are lots of visitors coming to see the baby & you with their set of do’s and dont’s. One of the special tip being – ‘Don’t hold your baby too much, he might fall into the habit of being always held by you and then he would never want to be put down or be handled by anyone else!’

But wait!! Don’t put your baby down – hold him tight while you can, he ain’t going to be a baby for long! Cherish the moments!

  1. After multiple studies, science has proven that holding our babies or cuddling them is not at all harmful, but is actually a vital part of caring for babies in the early days, with long-term impacts on health and development.
  2. Cuddling or skin-to-skin contact(the kangaroo care) helps our babies to develop a secure attachment to you. The bond developed shows up later in our child’s life as self-confidence, expression of empathy, ability to cope with the stress in life, have the creative edge and zeal in things, have a healthy individuation and be a lot more active and social.
  3. In babies and parents, it also creates calmness and relaxation by lowering anxiety and stress. It also increases the success rate in breastfeeding and sleep pattern.
  4. It strengthens the digestive, circulatory and gastrointestinal systems, thereby reducing discomfort of colic, congestion and teething problems.
  5. Babies who are cuddled often develop a strong neurological system, higher IQ and improved pulmonary and immune systems.
  6. Premature babies who get the gentle touch or have skin-to-skin contact with the parents are more likely to survive and have a normal life as compared with the premature babies who are deprived of the touch due to their admission in NICU.
  7. Cuddling also makes certain medical procedures less painful for infants and also has a great impact on how the brain processes touch which is necessary for learning and social, emotional connections in life.

So, no matter what people may say, you as a parent can never spoil a child by cuddling or holding them. Also, even as they are growing up, give your child a big hug daily, cuddle them often and tell them that you love them the most! Express it! MAKE A HABIT!
Cuddling is indeed a nice way to show love, pride, understanding and support. So go cuddle your kids! It’s healthy!

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CRIES

A new born baby has to cry its lungs out to assure the doctor that he/she is all fine and sound. My little fared a 9/10 when he was born and the doctors were happy with it. Now the real trouble began when he cried at various intervals and for multi-purposes. And for a new mother it becomes all confusing and intimidating when the baby cries in a high pitched tone. Feeding or cradling to sleep also doesn’t help at times and all that is left is a crying baby, distressed mother, few unfriendly glares from outsiders or special tips from the friendly ones.

So, why and when does a baby cry?
After birth, babies feel helpless too! The comfort of the womb is gone, the food supply through the umbilical cord is cutoff and they don’t know how to voice out their feelings. Hence, the crying! But then, babies are super-smart too. They have different cries for different requirements.

  1. I am HUNNNNGRYYY!!!! These cries generally starts with a ‘N’ sound. It can be naaa-aaa, naaahhh, nyaaaah. It is generally in the frequency of every 1.5 – 2 hours in the early months after birth, so watch-out mummies now you can finally know when the little one is hungry.
  2. INDIGESTION –  If our little ones wants to burp or pass gas, they will give a low and deep cry. It will sound like ‘Ehhh…’ due to abdominal contraction. The baby might not stop crying till the gas or burp is passed, so  a gentle massage on the abdomen and making them do the pedaling movements will help them feel relieved.
  3. PAIN –  These cries caused due by pain is generally violent, high-pitched and loud. The baby might close his eyes or may look flushed. Don’t panic, try to find the cause. Check for swelling, high temperature, blood stains or rashes, and if you are unable to find any, take them straightaway to the pediatrician. NEVER IGNORE THIS CRY!
  4. The Cry of DISCOMFORT – A whiny or breathy cry generally means that the baby is uncomfortable. This may be caused due to uncomfortable sleeping positions or a need to change the diapers or sheets. Address the discomfort or the cry may be repetitive and prolonged.
  5. The cry of getting bored or fussy – Fussiness is generally the most common reason for crying in babies. They may cry because they are bored or over-stimulated or for reasons we might never know.These cries start mild and seem to be occasional gradually increasing to a full-throated cry. However,  we can easily put a stop to such cries by distracting them or by giving them a rattle-toy to play with, or by making funny faces and sound.
  6. I WANT TO SLEEP! – This cry is easily understood by mummies or elders as this one is a sharp wail with an agape mouth and has a lot of eye-rubbing.  Here, the baby just needs a nice song or rhythmic lullaby or whizzing sound and some cradling movements or a crib. This cry is generally in the afternoon with most of the babies(mine used to be awake at nights).
  7. The cries of being AFRAID: Usually this type of cry begin with a confused whimper and reaches upto a high pitched wail. Many a times, when the touch is unfamiliar babies tend to get scared and cry to express it out. A gentle rocking movement or a familiar hold or sound might soothe the baby and make them smile again.
  8. NIGHTMARE CRY: You and your baby might finally have a sound sleep and suddenly you hear loud shrieks and see that the baby is shaking inconsolably, then don’t panic, your baby might be having some nightmare. Gently rock them, try to relax them by singing that gentle song and they may sleep peacefully again.

Initially, we might find parenting difficult and understanding the baby language might seem impossible, but with a little research or help from the fellow moms you might find it okay. But remember, when the baby smiles or is in your arms – YOU WILL FEEL IT ALL WORTH! So stay happy and stay blessed.

So cuddle more and laugh more!

This post is written for #BlogchatterA2Z Challenge on the third alphabet ‘C’. You can find all the 26 posts on “A TO Z OF PARENTING ESSENTIALS’ under the hashtag #themummastartupwritesa2z in Facebook Twitter and Instagram