Call 0330 999 8890 or email support@sleepnanny.co.uk

Sleep Nanny logo

Understanding Crying

Babies cry to communicate and young children cry to express emotions and this is all completely natural. We instinctively protect and provide for our children and when a baby cries we try to figure out which need he wants us to meet. Sometimes we cannot figure it out, especially when we think we have covered all the bases and yet the crying continues. Perhaps it is not a need. Perhaps it is an emotion or a frustration?

When babies cry in the night and it is not to be fed or to be changed and all the obvious needs are met, it can quite often be a frustration of wanting to get back to sleep but not knowing how to. This cry is simply your baby saying ‘I’ve found myself awake and I don’t know how to go back to sleep, please come and do whatever you did before to get me to sleep’

In the early weeks and months, babies need a lot of help to get to sleep. After all, it is a learned skill and not something we do unconsciously like breathing. We adopt all kinds of instinctive soothing techniques to help our babies to sleep and some take to it more easily than others. Usually the easy going, adaptable types have little difficulty conforming to the parents plan but the more alert ones like to challenge things, tend to have their own ideas and don’t often go with the flow.

Around the age of four-five months a lot of development takes place. Sometimes the great little sleepers come unstuck and those that were already a challenge, get even more tricky! This is your baby’s way of telling you that he is ready for your help to learn the skill of settling himself to sleep so that he can put himself back to sleep towards the end of his sleep cycles and sleep through the night.

Crying is something you will experience throughout childhood and whilst we do not enjoy hearing our children cry, we somehow find ourselves more able to tolerate some crying than other crying depending on the meaning we place upon it. For example:
If you believe your child is crying due to pain, you will comfort him and try to take away the pain.
If you believe your baby is crying due to hunger, you will feed your baby.
If you believe your child is crying because another child did something unkind, you will protect and comfort your child.
If you believe your child is crying because you said ‘no’ to that packet of sweets, you might ignore the crying, you might reprimand the crying, you might give in to the crying?

So what do you do when your toddler is crying because she wants something that she cannot have? When our daughter was around 20 months old, I remember being out for lunch and I had a glass of wine. Our daughter pointed and asked if she could have some of mummy’s drink and, of course the answer was ‘no’. She cried. She was upset, She did not understand why I was denying her a sip of mummy’s drink when she had previously been allowed some of my drink (when it was water or juice). She had no understanding of my reasoning but no amount of crying would make me give in because what she wanted would be incredibly harmful to her. I knew better. So I comforted her, offered her her own drink as an alternative and tried to lovingly distract her from the situation.

We often find it easier to accept our children’s cries when we know the thing they are crying for is 100% out of the question and not good for them. Why? Because our duty to protect them is stronger than our duty to make them happy about every decision we make for them. We cannot stop every tear or turn every sad emotion into a happy one but we can lovingly support our children as they learn to process these emotions and as they develop new skills through this learning.

It is important for us to recognise our children’s emotions and help them to deal with them or process them in a healthy way. If we dismiss them, tell them to stop it and fail to address them, it suggests that these feelings are not important or not valid. Sometimes a toddler or young child may be crying or making a fuss about ‘nothing’ and we know that it is a means to either gain attention or to attempt to manipulate a particular result and this will be reinforced if the child finds that it works! However, even when the crying is over ‘nothing’ it is important to recognise that it is ‘something’ to the child. By allowing the child the opportunity to calm down and explain what the emotion is, you will help to teach him how to handle his emotions. Some questions that might help are, ‘Why are you upset?’…’and how did that make you feel?’….’so what have you learned from this?’….

I believe that finding a balance is key. Not ignoring cries, dismissing them or trivialising them but also not rushing in to ‘put out the fire’ at the first sign of any tear/cry/whimper.

Take action today and your family could be enjoying a better nights sleep tomorrow! Choose from a selection of programmes for every need right here.

Choose A Plan

Take The Sleep Nanny® home for just £9.99 when you get your copy of bestseller, The Sleep Nanny System today.

Get The Book

Tags: ,

This message is only visible to admins.
Problem displaying Facebook posts. Backup cache in use.
Click to show error
Error: Error validating access token: The session has been invalidated because the user changed their password or Facebook has changed the session for security reasons. Type: OAuthException

3 months ago

The Sleep Nanny
>>>> You can sleep through the night and your little one can too! <<<<Head over to this week's episode of The Sleep Nanny show, youtu.be/UPSLYavPfw4, where you’ll learn how to teach your little one to sleep through the night in 5 simple steps and it's never too early to learn this!If you have a newborn, check this out now because you’ll soon be able to get into good rhythms and practices to accommodate these 5 steps as soon as you spot your baby is ready.Broken sleep for too long can affect health, mental well-being, learning capacity, safety and all round happiness to name just a few things! Tag someone who really needs to see these steps to get more sleep!! ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

3 months ago

The Sleep Nanny
Sleep tip: Moving up to a big bed? It is best to wait as near to 3 years old as you can get ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

3 months ago

The Sleep Nanny
Somewhere between 4 and 6 months is the time to begin helping your baby to practice settling to sleep ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

3 months ago

The Sleep Nanny
Self Settling Q&A ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

3 months ago

The Sleep Nanny
Do you find you have to do something to or for your little one in order for them to go to sleep? Is there a particular thing or a bunch of things that send them off into the land of nod?This week, in a brand new episode of The Sleep Nanny Show I share with you how to get your little one to self settle, happily, responsively and effectively! <<<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wp0URnUtQY>>>I share my loving approach to guiding babies and young children through the essential process of adjusting to their own sleep space, becoming at ease with being placed down for sleep and needing less and less help to actually get to sleep until they’re totally competent and can self settle happily.When little ones can settle themselves to sleep at the onset of sleep, they can then resettle their minor wakings between sleep cycles which leads to them achieving longer and longer stretches of nourishing and restorative sleep (and for you too)!Tag a friend who needs to hear this advice! ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
Schedule A Free Discovery Call
This message is only visible to admins.
Problem displaying Facebook posts. Backup cache in use.
Click to show error
Error: Error validating access token: The session has been invalidated because the user changed their password or Facebook has changed the session for security reasons. Type: OAuthException

3 months ago

The Sleep Nanny
>>>> You can sleep through the night and your little one can too! <<<<Head over to this week's episode of The Sleep Nanny show, youtu.be/UPSLYavPfw4, where you’ll learn how to teach your little one to sleep through the night in 5 simple steps and it's never too early to learn this!If you have a newborn, check this out now because you’ll soon be able to get into good rhythms and practices to accommodate these 5 steps as soon as you spot your baby is ready.Broken sleep for too long can affect health, mental well-being, learning capacity, safety and all round happiness to name just a few things! Tag someone who really needs to see these steps to get more sleep!! ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

3 months ago

The Sleep Nanny
Sleep tip: Moving up to a big bed? It is best to wait as near to 3 years old as you can get ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

3 months ago

The Sleep Nanny
Somewhere between 4 and 6 months is the time to begin helping your baby to practice settling to sleep ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

3 months ago

The Sleep Nanny
Self Settling Q&A ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook

3 months ago

The Sleep Nanny
Do you find you have to do something to or for your little one in order for them to go to sleep? Is there a particular thing or a bunch of things that send them off into the land of nod?This week, in a brand new episode of The Sleep Nanny Show I share with you how to get your little one to self settle, happily, responsively and effectively! <<<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wp0URnUtQY>>>I share my loving approach to guiding babies and young children through the essential process of adjusting to their own sleep space, becoming at ease with being placed down for sleep and needing less and less help to actually get to sleep until they’re totally competent and can self settle happily.When little ones can settle themselves to sleep at the onset of sleep, they can then resettle their minor wakings between sleep cycles which leads to them achieving longer and longer stretches of nourishing and restorative sleep (and for you too)!Tag a friend who needs to hear this advice! ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
Schedule A Discovery Call

Contact

T: 0330 999 8890
E: support@sleepnanny.co.uk

Head Office Open (GMT London):
Mon-Fri: 09.00 – 17.00