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Mimishu1995's avatar

Is it ok to ignore a 2-month-old's crying?

Asked by Mimishu1995 (18967points) 1 month ago

This morning I went to visit a friend who just got a baby. Another friend went with me and we spent most of our time playing around with the 2-month-old baby. At one point the baby reached out to his mom and cried. I don’t know what exactly he wanted but it was clear that he wanted to be closer to the mom. My other friend told the mom not to give in to the baby because he was “testing her boundary”, and if she gave in to him, he would become spoiled and would increase his demand the next time.

Now, I don’t think I have much experience around babies as her, and I’m totally in favor of setting boundaries, but I recently read a book called The Body Keeps the Score, which dedicates an entire section on childhood trauma. There is a part in the book that basically says babies need as much attention from the caregivers because every deep trauma has roots in this period of life. And if the baby is neglected, if its cry doesn’t draw attention to the caregiver, the baby will stop crying because it learns that it is insignificant to the caregiver. This is directly in contrast with the attitude of my friend.

So is it ok to ignore the child’s cry?

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26 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

@Mimishu1995 I m with you on this, your friend doesn’t know what she is talking about.

A 2 month old infant cries only because of very basic needs, they are not yet developed enough to be “making demands”. An infant that age needs reassurance, not some whacko discipline.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I agree with you. Your friend is wrong. A 2 month old cries for a reason.

JLeslie's avatar

2 months? You answer the baby’s call. The baby needs something. Either the baby is hungry, in pain, needs the cuddle of their mom. Crying is the baby communicating they are becoming very uncomfortable.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No. It’s not OK.

canidmajor's avatar

In the situation you describe, the baby needs to be attended.

The only time I have experienced that it was better to let such a young baby “cry it out” is when the baby has been so overstimulated that any more attention, no matter how lovingly meant, only escalates the the crying and leads to a full-blown episode. In which case, leaving the baby alone for a short while often will help settle them.

That is not at all what happened there, and your friend who advised ignoring the baby really has no understanding of these things at all.

janbb's avatar

@canidmajor I think the example you give of overstimulation leading to a tantrum would be more common with a toddler or older when you might want to leave them be in a safe place for a bit.

I can’t think of any instance where a 2 month old should be left to cry unless the parent is totally at their wit’s end and may need a few minutes to restore their sanity. Again, not the situation here.

canidmajor's avatar

@janbb even that young, my daughter would occasionally get there. I found that leaving her in her darkened room, with water running in the bathroom, for as little as three to five minutes would settle her. I was always right outside the room crying, listening to her little voice.

janbb's avatar

@canidmajor We all know what works best with our own kids as parents. Putting it in to practice is not always easy but we usually know what to do – at least when they’re little.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Yeah that is not okay. A two month old isn’t manipulating anyone. What a cold response from your friend, disturbing.

smudges's avatar

OMG I sure hope the mom didn’t listen to your friend! At 2 months babies don’t manipulate!

KRD's avatar

The baby may need some attention in the first year he or she is born so you might want to see if things are alright in case of something.

Inspired_2write's avatar

That is bonding with the mother one else other than immediate family that live in the home should be handling a small baby at that time.
In that early stage affection/compassion with mother is very important and disciple is useless until much later when they understand.

Brian1946's avatar

Once when I was on an airplane, I pretended to cry so that my mom would breast feed me.
Because I was 7 years old and had already been weaned, she didn’t fall for my ruse.

Instead, she nicknamed me flyin’ lyin’ cryin’ Brian. ;-p

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Mimishu1995's avatar

@smudges the mom is a good friend of that girl and the girl prides herself in having experience with working with kids through volunteer work. I do hope the mom was just nodding along so that her feeling wasn’t hurt.

@Brian1946 That’s a sad story indeed :’(

SnipSnip's avatar

Hold young infants as much as they need. You can’t spoil them. Feeling safe and secure now helps them for years to come.

Brian1946's avatar


I’m sure you were CYAO when you read it!

I was CMAO when I wrote it. ;-(p

Mimishu1995's avatar

@Jeruba now that I think about it, my friend’s mindset is actually a new thing in my country. Once upon a time people just loved to cuddle with babies and let babies sleep with them. Now it seems that there is this new wave of teaching babies to be independent, and that results in this situation.

snowberry's avatar

I spent the first 6 months of my life in a hospital. Back then doctors thought that very sick babies would be stressed by being touched or held. I won’t go into detail, but traumatic experiences such as this will change an infant at the cellular level. It certainly explains a lot of my present struggles.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@snowberry I know. That’s why I really hope the mom doesn’t take the friend’s advice seriously. She’s a strong girl and I have hope she isn’t easily influenced.

canidmajor's avatar

@Mimishu1995 hopefully your mom friend will pay little to no attention to bad advice. New moms get all sorts of well-meaning but awful tips from people and ignore most of it. New moms are tired and baby-focused, and might, at that moment, seem to heed rather than argue, but most likely not, unless the person is a much respected, experienced elder.

Go give that baby an extra cuddle from me, I haven’t held a baby since the start of the plague!

janbb's avatar

@Mimishu1995 I was actually going to suggest that you talk to your Mom friend separately and that you were talking to some American mothers online. They all advised that babies need to be held and should generally not be left to cry in most situations. Your other friend was giving her really bad advice and I think it warrants you saying something if feel you are close enough to do it.

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