Some reflections on listening to crying

I remember when I first started listening to my son as a baby (after all his immediate needs had been met), I worried that he might never stop crying! He just seemed to cry and cry some days, with no end in sight. At first, I would only listen for a short time, maybe 5 to 10 minutes, before offering a distraction he was used to (usually my breast). Even after a short supported cry like this, I noticed that he slowed down and fell asleep more easily. And as the days went on, he also stopped pinching and biting me when he was feeding! 

And as I saw the benefits of these shorter cries and became more confident, I was able to listen for longer, and eventually as long as he needed to cry. And this was where the real magic happened! When allowed to take it’s natural course, with all the stress leaving his body through tears, and me offering all of my attention, love and reassurance, the crying did eventually stop! And afterwards my son seemed clearer, more loving and relaxed. And I vividly recall after one big cry, that he climbed into my lap, looked up at me and said, “I love you”, and then fell asleep peacefully in my arms.

 

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