Cry vs. comfort

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Updated: 8/12/2003 12:11 am
Childcare providers can make crucial decisions affecting your child's development. One action with certain impact is allowing an infant to cry, or comforting the baby. While virtually everyone is sure the decision is important, there are basically two schools of thought on why a particular action is correct. Advocates for letting an infant cry believe the act not only teaches the baby to develop self-comforting methods, but also exercises the lungs. Some further believe responding to a child's every cry will result in 'spoiling,' leading him or her to expect to dictate a caregiver's actions according to whim. Proponents of comforting babies assert crying is an infant's only tool for communication. Crying can indicate a full range of emotions or conditions, from hunger, to discomfort, loneliness, or fear. Therefore, they believe, all crying should be responded to with comforting gestures. Comforting advocates recognize that responding to frequent cries can be exhausting, but firmly believe you should always respond to the statement of need that crying can indicate. Talk to your care provider about which method you want used for your child.

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