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November 15, 2005

"What to do when he cries" poster

It is a known fact that first-time parents (especially mothers I have noticed) FREAK OUT when their baby starts crying, especially if the crying lasts longer than, say...10 seconds?

It's a deep, visceral reaction, something that has to do with human evolution I'm sure, though I can't think of an obvious reason why a baby's cry would make the mom panicked and completely useless...

Moms toughen up after a while (Mariah is already doing much better after one month), but at least at first, all the soothing techniques go out the window and the mom starts sobbing alongside her wailing baby.

Fathers have a different approach: (the story is from my friend and 3-times father Pete S.): When you have to deal with a crying baby in the middle of the night, you know it has to be one of 5 things (hungry, wet, gas/pain, overstimulated, bored), so you cycle through them, but in your half-asleep state you only cycle through 4 of them, and you do it over and over, with the reason for the crying being, obviously, number 5, the one you can't think about.

Soooo...Mariah and I have made a little poster, that we have printed in two copies and hung in our kitchen and in our bedroom. It's called "what to do when he cries", and it lists, in BIG TYPEFACE, BLACK ON WHITE, all the things that could cause the crying and what to do about it.

Here's what our poster look like:


It has already come handy a couple of times (once the "go to dark room" worked and another time he was wet), so we thought we would share the idea with other parents or parents-to-be.

Here's the extremely simple 2-slide powerpoint file in case you want to use it / customize it: whenhecries.ppt

Posted by patata at November 15, 2005 10:26 AM