Coping With Crying Babies

When my first child was suffering from a major battle with colic, the pediatrician was my long suffering ally. He cottoned on to the fact, early in the game, that part of the problem was my low tolerance for crying. Since the good doctor lived in our neighborhood, he wasn't averse to making a house call for the purpose of helping me learn to cope.

David, our doctor, told me to go ahead and put the baby in her crib. She was fed, changed, and tired. All her needs were taken care of except for sleep. It was that simple.

Let that baby cry!

I lay the baby down, and for the first time felt a sense of gratification as she began to shriek. Now David would see what I meant about the endless crying! I looked at David, my face smug and self-satisfied. David was unmoved. "Let's try letting her cry for 15 minutes, then you'll try to calm her down and start the process over again."

The crying went on. David suggested I sit down. He sat down, too, and suggested I make him a cup of tea, and another for myself, since I was already boiling water. I looked at him like he was out of his mind. "But she's screaming!" I protested.

"Uh huh," David said with not a trace of panic. "How long do you figure she's been crying?"

"At least 5 minutes," I stated with something like reproach.

David looked at his watch. "Nope. Only 2 minutes."

Every couple of minutes, I would ask him, "Can I go in to her now?"

Each time, he would ask me how long I thought the baby had been crying. Each time my guess was way off the mark, so much so that I began to feel ridiculous.

At long last, David let me go in to my baby, and pat her on the back. Then we repeated the exercise. I learned a hard lesson that day, but it served me well through all the years of parenting not only this little girl, but the eleven other children that followed her.

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