Ever been passed a beautiful newborn baby and then quickly passed it back to its parent? Of course you have - we've all been there - a second in our arms and many babies start screaming the place down. But don't worry, this is perfectly natural and you're not doing anything "wrong" and its not that he or she doesn't like you!
There are basically four reasons why babies (and I mean baby-style babies as I like to call anyone under at least a few months) constantly cry or scream
They are either hungry, tired, need changing or need their soul mate.
Probably the most important thing to note is the mention of a soul mate. Remember that a baby has had over 9 months bonding with his or her mother. Everything mammy has eaten, drunk, listened to or felt, has been filtered through to babba. Babba has also been subjected to and learnt about music, heard voices, dealt with stress, felt the beauty of encouragement and laughter. So when a newborn baby gets passed into your arms for that very first hold and starts to cry, just remember that it is not you doing something wrong, you are simply NOT that only constant that they have ever known. Nine months is a long time for us, with all our years of comparison, so imagine how long that feels in baby-years when there is NO comparison! If you are not maternal mammy, then sometimes you simply will not do (for now at least).
It is hardly any surprise that adopted babies parents are strongly advised to be the only ones to hold them for many months. The baby needs scent, feel and emotional connection to obtain that sense of belonging (after all, we all wish to belong) and this can only be attained by ensuring there is no "tainting" of the process of obtaining a sense of home. Ie: the parents.
However, babies will also cry in their parent arms, but this is something that we can soon learn to quickly control.
So what if you are the parent? You have learnt what your baby is wanting each time they cry, be it feeding, a nappy change or they are just feeling irritable and tired, but sometimes they just cry and cry and scream and you haven't a clue what to do? Finding the answer to that is your golden ticket to a much easier life and is a lot easier than you would think.
Leave them alone!
Babies are not daft. What is the first thing that happens when a baby is born? He or she is crying and get passed immediately to Mum. It's so warm and cozy in the womb which all they have known so far, so a big cuddle is the second best thing to what they've always been used to. Newborns are nearly always immediately picked up again every time they start to cry. In super quick time, babba has learnt that crying results in a cuddle! This is great and is imperative for bonding in the early days, but there comes a time when you have to break this pattern as you are merely making a rod for you own back.
If your baby is clean and fed and in good health, then there is no other reason that he or she is crying other than they want a cuddle. In fact, that cuddle is being demanded in the only way a baby knows how - crying (which turns into screaming in many cases).
Some mothers totally wear themselves out by simply complying with this demand, which is a natural instinct of ours - baby is crying, must be distressed, must pick up and cuddle to sooth. I'm not saying don't pick up your baby at all and if at any time you think something is genuinely wrong, then of course you must. I am just saying respond wisely. Do not be ordered around by your baby, you are not helping either them or yourself. Remember you are in charge, you are in control and if you don't pamper to your baby every time crying begins, it soon becomes apparent that their little game isn't working any longer and crying is only necessary when they need something.
The same goes for crying at night. If your baby is waking up at night and crying, although not needing feeding or a change, do not go into to soothe them - you need to break that pattern and you also need your rest when you can get it too. If mammy is tired and irritable during the day, babba will sense it and will get distressed through lack of understanding. Breaking the "crying at night" pattern can be a lengthy process, so make sure that you don't cave in! I know it is very hard to hear your baby crying and sooo easy to just go in there and pick him or her up for a lovely warm cuddle, but if you just keep your resolve and try this out for a while then you will be thankful later.
If you think you cannot do this, or are worried about missing something that may be wrong with your baby, why not put a webcam in the baby's room - that way you can see what's happening without actually being seen by babba.
Stay strong and firm and if your baby constantly cries at night, give this technique a go for at least four to five nights and you will be surprised at the result (and getting a great nights sleep yourself)
Good luck and sweet dreamzzzzzzzz