Monday, August 18, 2014

5 Reasons I Don't Pick Up My Crying Baby

I recently read an article titled "Good Mothers Pick Up Their Crying Baby" - and this post is inspired by that article. Even though in the end, that article wasn't even about crying babies and whether or not to pick them up. (It was actually about not being so judgmental of other people and mothers and instead trying to understand their situation).

I don't always pick up my baby boy when he cries. Does this make me a bad mother? Perhaps in some peoples' eyes. But I think I have pretty good reasons not to:

1) Because I'm on the toilet. Or in the shower. Sometimes it is literally impossible to pick up your baby, and instead are forced to resort to saying loudly, "I'll be right there baby!!" as you wipe (or dry off, or spit out the toothpaste, etc).

2) If I'm out grocery shopping by myself, I usually have baby in the stroller and have a small shopping basket in hand. If he starts to cry, I'll try to make him happy while he's still in his seat. I will pick him up if he won't calm back down, but that then means I can no longer push the stroller and continue with my shopping. (I can't push a stroller, hold a baby, and hold a basket all at the same time). Plus, then I'm just stuck in the middle of an aisle, possibly getting in the way of other shoppers. I will have to leave the store eventually. So sometimes that means I have to put my crying baby back into the stroller so that I can either continue shopping or just give up and leave. Regardless, that means he's crying in the stroller and I'm not able to pick him up.

3) Sometimes, you have your little one strapped into the car seat (which is attached to the stroller) and are happily strolling through a [insert store/location/shop/etc name here]. Right towards the end of your excursion, baby starts to cry. When I'm in this situation, I don't want to pick him up because that means unbuckling him from his car seat, and we're only mere minutes from getting back into the car... I don't want to take him out of his seat for a few minutes, only to have to then buckle him back up moments later. Snapping baby into the car seat can be a real fight sometimes! It's easier to just race back to the car with him crying than to deal with those straps.

4) Perhaps this doesn't quite apply, but sometimes I don't "pick up my crying baby" because he's already strapped to me. If I'm wearing him in the Ergo or a wrap and he starts crying... I can't really do much. I'm not exactly going to try to take him out of the darned thing while out in public - usually I'm wearing him because I need my hands (and also because he's normally happier in it!) Also, what am I supposed to do with the carrier once he's out of it? Carry him in one hand, the wrap in another, and diaper bag in my third hand...? So if he cries... all I can do is bounce and sway and try to soothe him until I can get back to the car or house to take him out.

5) Our five-month-old is now getting to the point where he's enjoying time out of our arms. So sometimes he's fussing, and I pick him up, he's still fussing. I'll try walking, rocking, bouncing, swaying, singing, sitting, standing, the whole shebang... and then I put him down to give my arms a break, and guess what?! He stopped crying. This isn't always the case, but there are times when he's sitting there fussing or crying and I know holding him isn't what he wants and therefore won't work.

This is by no means meant to start a debate on whether or not to use the "cry it out" method. It was merely meant to be a somewhat humorous illustration on times I don't pick him up when he's crying. :P

What are some reasons you don't pick up your baby when he cries?
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