Should I Let My Baby Cry?
Month 2, Week 4
You can't spoil an infant. Well-meaning people may tell you to let your baby "cry it out," but when your baby's crying, he's telling you something -- it can just be a bit tricky to figure out what it is!
Coping with baby's cries:
- First, troubleshoot. Is baby hungry? Wet? In pain from a too-tight diaper, pinching snap, or a fine hair wrapped tightly around a finger or toe?
- If baby's full, clean, and comfortable, try soothing him by swaddling, walking and rocking, and turning on a calming sound like the vacuum or a white noise machine.
- Offer a pacifier or a finger to suck.
- Although "crying it out" as a sleep training tactic is not recommended for newborns, if you're about to start crying hysterically, it's OK to put baby down in a safe space for a few minutes to give yourself a break.
Your Baby's Development This Week
Your baby's almost 3 months old! Every day, he gains more control over his rapidly-growing body.
Here are some things your baby may be doing by now:
- Keeping his hands open more often (unlike that newborn clenched fist) and carefully opening and closing them
- Showing some head control when upright, trying to push up on his arms, lifting his head, neck, and chest when lying on his tummy
- Socializing more with his smiling, gurgling, cooing, and even showing an interest in other children
You might wonder about:
- Disappearing reflexes. Many of the reflexes found in newborns, like the startle reflex -- have vanished by now.
- Rolling over. Some babies roll from front to back very early. So keep a watchful eye when he's on the changing table or any raised surface.
- Playing with toys. By the end of the third month, most babies can grasp and hold objects, but it may be a bit longer before he reaches for that tantalizing toy.
Month 2, Week 4 Tips
- Promptly soothing your baby's cries and meeting his needs at this age may help him be more secure and less demanding when he's older.
- Get to know your baby's personality. Some are quiet and reserved. Others are ready for every party.
- If your baby is often fussy and sensitive, try to avoid overstimulation and too much change in routine.
- By now, your baby probably loves to "talk" with you by cooing, gurgling, and trying to mirror your expressions. Encourage this with fun "conversations."
- Babies love repetition -- it's how they learn! Help by singing the same favorite songs over and over and playing the same games, like "peek-a-boo."
- Your baby may be able to start putting toys (and other things!) into his mouth to chew on. So don't give him anything that's small enough to swallow!
- Remember, your little one is not ready for solids yet, and adding cereal to a bottle does not guarantee sleeping through the night.