Mum’s worries Q&A

Mum’s worries QA

Breastfeeding

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My baby cries when I hold him/her in my arms.



This is common for babies about 2-3 months old. Baby knows well who his/her mothers is. That’s why they cry when they are held in the mother’s arms.

This means, when a small baby is held or talked by someone other than mother, the baby starts thinking “Who is this? What is this person going to do to me? I’m so scared so it seems I should be quiet ” and gets nervous and stiff. When the baby acts like this, we adults think the baby is so quiet.

(If we are talked in a loud voice suddenly by someone bigger than us or be held tight by a stranger, we would be surprised and scared. Probably we would not be able to move or speak.)

There are many times that the baby wouldn’t stop crying when being held by the mother, but then the baby stops crying when being held by husband or grandmother. And the mother gets greatly shocked by seeing this.

And she thinks like this. “My baby hates being in my arms? Since my mother and mother in law have experienced childcare before so they are good at carrying a baby? But my husband is not good at it at all. Then why?” “My baby doesn’t think that I am his/her mother? I am not good enough as a mother because I can’t calm my baby down” etc., mothers would think like this and get deeply depressed.

But baby knows well that who his/her mother is.Because the baby was feeling his/her mother’s smell, breathing, footsteps in the belly. Babies love their mother so much. Babies feel safe the most when being with their mother. Babies can express their feeling with a sense of security in their mother’s arms. Babies can cry as much as they want in front of their mothers. They can rely on mothers too much so that they can get selfish. So, you don’t need to be sad or depressed.

This “a baby cries in his/her mother’s arms” thing doesn’t last forever. Soon or later, this thing will change to “a baby stop crying in his/her mother’s arms.” Then adults say, “This baby has begun to show fear of strangers”, but babies feel fear or shy at an earlier time when they were born.

Many mothers are worried about this.I often hear this problem in my consultation room. It seems that people don’t know this kind of problem that much.The question is why?

I think it’s because they think “Am I the only one worrying about this?” or they don’t want to get depressed by being told “I have never heard of that” from someone if they talk about this, so they can’t consult anyone.

The babies coming to my consultation room don’t cry often at first because they are cautious about me. But the more they come to our clinic, the more they come to cry often just like when being at home. That makes me happy as I know the babies feel safe. So, if your baby cries, please don’t worry and please be confident and carry your baby in your arms.

Is there any way to calm our babies down and make them stop crying?

A baby is hungry, the diaper is wet, a baby is about to poop, having a fever, or feeling hot or cold, etc., even if you deal with these things which you can think of but the baby wouldn’t stop crying, then I think the baby may be crying just because he/she gets upset from not receiving your explanations.

We adults don’t explain beforehand to our babies, such as “We will go to 〇〇”, so when we take our baby somewhere, they get surprised. While we are going out with our babies, they are nervous and quiet. But at night time, they start crying by the memory of what have happened in the daytime. They seem to cry to let their mothers know that they have been surprised.

So, when we think that our babies might get nervous from unusual events such like “we have visitors”, “we have a medical checkup, or visit a shrine” or “we leave the baby to their grandparents’ house” etc., we need to tell our babies beforehand about that.

For example, “We are going for a monthly check-up today. And you will be checked whether you are growing up in good health. You are going to be naked and touched by a doctor, but you will be fine.” or
“Today we are going to a shrine, and pray that you will be growing up in good health. It’s not a scary place, so you will be fine.” or “Mommy has an errand and needs to go out. So wait for me with your grandma.” or “We will have a guest. She talks in a little bit loud voice, so you will be surprised. But she is a very kind person.” etc., you can talk to your baby like these.
If your baby knows what will happen on the day, he/she feels safe. And when we come back home, it would be even better if you give words to your baby by saying “You must be a bit tired today”. Your baby will think “My mother understand my feeling very well”.

But if you do not say anything to your baby, the baby will be surprised with so many suden events happening. And they start crying from remembering those things.

Even for us adults, we will be surprised if we are taken somewhere without receiving any explanations. And we would think that they should have given us explanations beforehand.

Also, if a stranger suddenly comes to your house and say “Wow, you’re so cute,” you’ll be more like scared than surprised. And, despite this happened, if we don’t receive any explanation, we would upset and think “I should have been treated better.” This is the same thing for babies, “explanation” is very important. Many people don’t think babies understand the language, and it’s not true.
They understand. It’s just they can’t express that they understand. So, let me tell you clearly and specifically.。

The mothers who come to our clinic say “When we go out without giving my baby any explanation of where we would go or what we would do, then my baby gets upset and cry at night.
So I think we mothers need to explain to our babies.” Like this, if we make it a habit to talk to our babies, they would not get upset and they would stop crying.

I'm worried because my baby is following me everywhere.

Many mothers are worried about their babies’ behavior of following their mothers. Mothers can’t do their errands which they need to do, or there is no one who can look after their baby so they can barely even go out.
“Behavior of following their mothers” is just a phase of growing up. Babies recognize their mothers well, so they follow their mothers from having separation anxiety. I understand how the babies feel, but for mothers, “following behavior” is a bit annoying. Then, let’s think about what we should do to make their “following behavior” better. Mothers are irreplaceable to babies. They get lost when their mothers are not around. Wild animal babies often can’t survive when they get separated from their mothers.

Mother is a precious person for the baby. So I think the babies who have experienced separation from their mothers before want to follow their mothers when they start walking in order not to get lost again.

For example, if you leave the baby to go to the bathroom, or do the laundry, leave the baby to someone without saying anything, then the baby gets very anxious when he/she realizes the mother is not around. If these things happen often, babies think that “It’s safe if I follow my mother all the time.” Well, I think you already know what we should do, don’t you? Yes, we should tell our babies where we go before leaving our babies. We should tell them that “I’m going to hang the laundry”,”I’m going to go to the bathroom”, or “I’ll go out for a bit to do some errands. So stay home with your daddy.” And when we come back home, we speak to our babies “I’m home now.” Saying “I’m going” and “I’m home” to our babies is very important.

Many people think that babies don’t understand what we say, but it’s not true. They understand well. In our clinic, we often tell the mothers these stories, so some of them who have been practicing since their babies were newborns say “This is very helpful for me because my baby doesn’t follow me everywhere I go that much.” It’s important to make a constant effort every day.

Mothers who love to talk seem to talk to their babies more often unconsciously, but I think it would be nice if mothers who don’t talk too much keep that in mind.