I have some powerful questions to ask you…
1. When your baby cries, do you:
A. Immediately pick them up, start shushing, bouncing, rocking, or insert your breast into their mouth in effort to stop the crying?
B. Calm yourself first, be with your baby and take a moment to just listen to their cry, and allow them to communicate, express and release their emotion first, before deciding what kind of response they need?
2. Every time your child cries, do they see you get unraveled or anxious?
3. When YOU cry, which do you prefer?
A. A loved one to just sit with you and listen. They don’t seem uncomfortable with this.
B. A loved one who will immediately try to flip a switch in your emotions to distract you with laughter or another feeling.
4. Do you think crying is a healthy or unhealthy expression or release of emotions?
5. When your baby cries, what feelings or memories does it trigger for you about how you were responded to as a young child when you cried? Are those memories good or bad? Did your caregiver hold that space for you to release your emotions, or did they try to pacify you or distract you from the feeling by “giving you something”?
6. What is your parent’s reaction when your baby is crying?
Powerful questions provide us with powerful answers, equipping us to optimally communicate and be in attunement with our babies. This is an essential component of attachment, as it helps us meet the true needs of our babies in a far more meaningful way.
Written by Jenni June, Certified Child and Family Sleep Consultant, Lactation Counselor, and mom of 4 amazing young adults!