Any mother - both experienced and first time moms - has for sure experienced the following scenario: Baby has been fed, not soiled, is not cold nor sweating, not sick, properly clothed, doesn't seem to have gases and it's 1 in the morning... so what could in the name of all the saints in heaven be possibly wrong?? Why the heck is he crying on top of his lungs and doesn't want me to get sleep even for just a couple of hours??
Mom takes the baby in her arms, puts him on this chest with one arm supporting the back and the head and starts to hum a sweet song. Baby calms down almost immediately and easily drifts off to sleep. Mom slowly puts down dear baby to his crib and there goes the ooohhahhhh louder than the siren of an ambulance.
What the hell does he want now? He would stop crying in my arms but would cry in his crib? Is he manipulating me like what the book says? If only he can speak of what he needs, things will be a lot easier, don't they?
Don't we always hear that actions speak louder than words? Then there you go.
Your child wants you. He loves you. He loves you not because he needs you to feed him and you are his source of food - food can be given to him by anyone else. He loves you not because you take care of him - other people can take care of him too, perhaps not as best as you could but enough for him to survive and be a healthy and good citizen. He loves you not because later on you'll send him to the best school in the country perhaps even a school abroad known to be the best in the world - he doesn't even know what is education. He loves you not because you'd provide him clothes and you have a big paycheck or you got that tremendous time deposit and on top of that a big inheritance - he doesn't even know the concept of money.
He's not even being affectionate to you so you'd be affectionate back to him - and in return get the caresses, the warmth, the protection he wants. He's not yet aware of give and take relationship nor cause and effect concept.
Some people "brand" this behavior as the child is just being difficult, manipulative and acquiring the vice of being held all the time. And so the popular advice: Don't you ever let him get used to being carried. He'll abuse you and manipulate you and will never want to be put down ever again.
I know that this situation can be really exhausting. I've been to this and not just some moments most of the times of Little Spanish Pinay's infant stage. Until now, she has moments when we couldn't define what she really wants and why she fusses. There were times, especially during her first 3 months that it makes me want to pull all my hair and growl like a tiger trapped in a cage. But understanding that my baby loves me unconditinally and wants me and only me to be near her helped a lot. Rejecting the idea that by carrying my baby as much as she needed and wanted no matter how long in a day, will make her grow as a spoiled brat and that because she is a manipulative baby, made me not doubt even for a second to take her in my arms the moment she starts crying. It is physically tiring, yes. But everything becomes bearable and with a heart where mother instinct is never suppressed by some expert's child-care-discipline methodologies, my mind is more free to help my body recover from physical exhaustion.
As mothers, why don't we just enjoy of this wondeful feeling of receiving an absolute unconditional love. A love that cannot be tainted with malice or ulterior motive. Sometimes, Little Spanish Pinay gets very affectionate with her papi and would rather be with him than me. She'd expressively ask him to carry her in his arms. I'd try to take her but she's hang on to her papi for her dear life. Papi's all happy and I'd find it really cute
and beneficial for me so I can also rest a bit and perhaps do some blogging. Then in short while, she'd call me because she wants to nurse. I'd jokingly tell her ah, so you just want mami for milk, huh!... pretending that I am hurt. Of course, I know it isn't true.
But let's say, it is true. Wouldn't that be sad? Our babies would only call for us because they are hungry? Or because they are cold? Or sweating? Or uncomfortable with their tight, rough clothes? We wouldn't want that as a mom, right? We also want them to love us, to want us not because of what they can get from us but because they just simply love us... because we are their moms. Luckily for us, babies are made to love us. They don't understand the reasoning behind but all they know is they love us and they need us to be near them... to be constantly near them. So they cry FOR that attention, FOR that carress, FOR that warmth, FOR that touch and most of all FOR that person who is their mother. Because if that is otherwise, what would happen if we stop being able to provide something for them? Or do anything for them? They'd stop loving us? No, right?
So, would you not carry your crying baby in your arms just because they are not hungry, nor soiled, nor sleepy, nor hurt and just wants to be carried?
Your baby loves you. Unconditionally. In absoluteness.