Baby's Basic Human Right -
The Right to Self-Expression
There is only one way for a baby to communicate to the world : crying, that is what most people call it. I prefer saying baby's talking. Babies usually talk when they are hungry, startled, thirsty, tired, wet, have to burp, want to be held, wonder where you are, are just lonely, or want to tell you something. You will quickly learn what your baby is trying to tell you, if you shift your belief from "My baby cries she is in distress and I have to fix it." to "
My is talking, I might not understand exactly what she wants but I WILL LISTEN?"
The baby has a right to self-expression.
Responding to your baby's talking every time she does, will not spoil her; it will however build a trusting relationship between her and you.
At birth you will want to hear your baby's voice as an indication she has taken her first breath, don't try to shush her or even saying things like "don't cry, it's ok," use empathy and listen to her very first expression. You could use something like "Wow is that your voice? Please tell me more." Psychologist Erik Erikson's stages of psychosocial development suggest that trust and mistrust are the first building blocks of personality. According to Erikson, choosing one versus the other, trust or mistrust, is the result of our first learned experiences in the womb, at birth and throughout the non-verbal life of a child.
Babies cry, or 'talk' a lot so the best thing is to offer is empathy and an attentive ear. Babies have only one way of communicating - it sounds like crying - and if every time they attempt to talk we try to shut them down they will get the wrong message.
In my work as a postpartum doula, I've noticed that sometimes when babies cry they just need your attention. Of course I encourage to always attending to a baby crying, in fact I am not a big supporter of anyone who tells you to let you baby cry to self-soothe or sleep on her own. But when I respond to a baby who is crying instead of shushing or bouncing him on a ball to quickly quiet him, I rather approach the crib, or chair and simply empathize. I say something like, "I hear you, I am here, tell me more. Did you wake up scared?" "You seem very upset, tell me how you feel?" Invariably the baby hearing and feeling empathy calms down.