needs of her baby than one who is fully focussed and deeply attentive to the situation. A mother must use all her senses to assess all the signs and symptoms of the moment and then sum them up into appropriate solutions.
Secondly, there must be commonsense and clearheaded observation and thinking. Many a first time and new mother is worried about her baby, such that prior to gaining experience they frequently imagine worst case scenarios, or believe events have befallen their child which are in fact highly unlikely. Checking the most obvious and common things usually solves 90% of their needs. Recognising your fears and putting them aside to concentrate more clearly, is very important. In other words removing the blockages within yourself to objective communi-cation.
Beyond this, a mother simply needs to tune in and listen to her baby, look at her baby, feel her baby, talk to her baby, smell her baby, transmit to her baby - just as the baby is tuning in, looking at, listening to, feeling, smelling and talking to her. And above all, the most important thing a mother can do is reassure her baby that she will respond to its needs as they arise. A trusting relationship has to be built up between them, and communi-cation, along with action, is the way this is done. Gradually, every mother learns what their baby "means" in its cries and by its other actions. If the response matches the need, then the baby learns to trusts you. There will always be times when you will not be able to fully placate your baby's cries, or when their cries are meaningless even to them, and at those times comfort and compas-sion are the only things you can give. This also builds trust and strengthens the channels of non-verbal, non-rational modes of communication between you.
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| ||~Different Types of Crying~ |
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In auditory communication, the elements of hearing and listening involve: (i) the ears, (ii) the nerve pathways to the brain, and (iii) the processes of analysing and comprehending those sounds within the brain. In verbal communication it is: (i) the vocal cords and tongue, (ii) the nervous pathways of transmission to those organs, and (iii) the mental processes of thought formation, feelings, memory, in-built language skills and other things which neurosurgeons are still figuring out. In young babies, although the first two physiological stages of hearing and speaking are present and functioning to some degree, the third stages - that is
the mental faculties of consciousness and understanding - have yet to be developed. This disjunction of development needs to be taken into account when trying to understand the ways in which babies cry and what those cries may mean.
Babies certainly hear instinctively, but for some time they do not listen consciously. They certainly vocalise instinctively, but for some time they do not speak consciously. So long as their cries succeed in bringing their needs, they have no need for more complex language. This is nature's way. But rather than feeling lost, confused by your baby's simplistic language, mothers must learn to understand it and use it to their own and their baby's best advantage. First we must have faith that nature has given us the capabilities to do just that.
As long as a baby's hearing and vocalising are instinctive and not conscious, their cries must therefore be interpreted by the mother firstly at the instinctive level, secondly at a rational-conscious level, and thirdly at the intuitive-conscious level. Individually, or sometimes melded together, each of these faculties let her know what her baby needs.
So where do our instincts lie; how do we contact them; and how do they indicate to us what is needed? Answer: through what is commonly called a "gut feeling".
Where does our rational faculty live; how do we develop that? Answer: by looking, seeing, investigating, thinking and analysing the situation rationally.
Where does our intuition lie; how do we contact that? Answer: Through the heart and the higher mind, and through meditative, contempla-tive practise.
So, in understanding her baby's cries, a mother must get in touch with the deepest of her maternal feelings, her cleverest thinking, and the highest elements of her spiritual link with her child. She must put aside fears that she doesn't know what is going on, fears that she can't manage, irrational panic, or too much reliance on outsiders to tell her what is going on.
A baby's cries, although "saying" different things, are purely reactionary noises based on events within their body (or mind). The first indicator in what they might mean are the subtle differences in tone. To discern these differences requires that she really tune-in and listen very carefully to her baby's calls. If you have the idea that crying is just crying, you will miss the subtleties. "Oh-oh. The baby Is crying. I wonder what they want now" is a common thought. After some months you will just know what most