Friday, October 12, 2007

Crying Babies

An interesting thing about a crying six-week-old is that, unlike normal "guy mindset," you can't just FIX IT and make it better. There's no magical cure-all, there's no one-way-fits-all method to calming a screaming baby. There's no real consistency to how The Boy cries, there's no steady plan that is discernible to any save God herself.

I have figured out four different cries that he tends to use. The first is the "I'm hungry!" cry, which is usually accompanied by his mouth forming sucking sounds and his head rooting around for a nipple. (Fortunately, he stopped trying to nurse on me - my arm, my man-boobies, my nose, etc.) This is an easy cry to deal with, as it has a definite solution and, at the beginning stages, is not THAT soul-piercing.

The second cry is his "I'm mad at the world" cry, and that one tends to happen when he's been in his bouncy seat too long, or is getting his diaper changed, or is getting a bath (sometimes), or is frustrated with Tummy Time. This one is frequently solved by picking him up and holding him. It can get REALLY loud - it's the cry that uses every ounce of air in his lungs, finishing in a kind of lung rattle.

The third cry is his "I've got to poop, but it's not happening" cry. This is loud, piercing and disturbing, but can only be solved by time. Once his business is taken care of, the crying usually stops.

The fourth is the "who the heck knows" cry. Sometimes it's that he's hungry. Sometimes he must poop. Sometimes his diaper is uncomfortably wet. Sometimes he wants attention. Sometimes he DOESN'T want attention. Sometimes he wants to sit up, sometimes he wants to lay down. The long and short of it is, there's no real way to tell what he wants and needs. This cry is, most frequently, loud, piercing and disturbing, and every muscle in his body is usually tensed up to the point of completely rigidity. (Like, he can practically stand up on his own rigidity.) This cry usually ends between five and thirty minutes after he stops, and it usually ends when he falls asleep for a quick nap.

There's a lot less of the 4th cry now than even a week ago, as The Boy is maturing and we're starting to understand him better.

Today was a good day. We got a cool Lamaze "spin and explore garden gym," which is a mat with a tummy-time-spinny-thing on it, that lets the baby turn his body any way he wants, in order to mess with the cool stuff on the mat - wings that make crinkly sounds, bug rattles and stuff like that. He didn't like the spinny thing - he's not quite strong enough to keep his head up in the air long enough, and he hasn't quite figured out the focus-on-and-reach-for-stuff thing. But, when I put him on his back on the mat, he liked moving his arms around and hearing the crinkly sound.

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