Sometimes you just have to let them cry for them to ever learn…

by , under Activities for Babies, Child Development, Cry It Out, Gross and Fine Motor Skills

I’ve often wondered why babies are designed to drive their mothers to the breaking point.  “Why, oh, why won’t he stop fussing and crying?” I often found myself asking.  But, I think I’ve figured it out.

My son would sit there with his toys surrounding him, and if something would roll just out of reach he would stretch out for it and whine, cry, grunt… anything to annoy me enough that I would give in and hand it back to him.  But, I knew that if I kept handing back those toys just to shut him up make him stop crying he’d never learn to reach out and crawl to them.  So, one day I battened down the hatches and prepared myself for the fit fest when his favorite toy fell from his hands and rolled out of reach.  He cried.  A LOT.  But, it worked.  In no time at all he gave up waiting for me to retrieve the toy, got on his hands and knees, and crawled to it.  Just like that!

I suppose the moral of this tale is that the incessant crying in the newborn stages of life is meant to desensitize mothers, just a bit.  So, when our children start grunting and groaning because they just don’t feel like putting in the effort to crawl (or walk, or sit, or stand, etc.) we know it’s okay to just let them cry until they figure it out.  Yes, our guts tighten, our hearts still race, and we feel helpless (and sometimes a little guilty) when we let them cry.  But in the end we know, in our heart of hearts, it’s all for the best.

Here is to my son who just crawled for the first time today at 6.5 months old!

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