New parents such as my wife and I are concerned about doing everything right, as impossible as that may be. And one of those very basic things is making sure to take care of the little guy when he cries. But what do you do when he “fake cries”?
A little back story on this – we are working on “sleep training”, and that means for us that we are trying to put him down for bed before he is sleeping fully (while he is drowsy and not 100% asleep), so that when he wakes up at night, he is able to put himself back to sleep. The logic on this is that the last thing he sees should not be his parents, or else he will always need his parents to look at or be close to when falling asleep.
To make matters more complicated, the little guy is in the middle of teething, too. And during teething, apparently it is common for babies to be extra needy – to want the parents to hold them more than usual, to cry out for attention more than usual, and so on. I guess it makes sense, teething really takes a toll on a baby.
Anyway, earlier this week, I noticed that when I put the little guy down to bed, he was not happy to be in bed, and he would cry out. At first, I was right there for him, and soothed him, and put him back in bed. Although tired, he wanted to be around mom and dad, so while I was sitting next to the crib (out of his view) I heard him go through about 10 different styles of crying out (not crying, but making noise to get my attention), and when I did come to soothe him, he started laughing. So basically he was developing his “fake cry.” The fake cry he has is quite believable if you are not around him all day every day, and you hear the real cry (usually when hungry, scared, or waking up from a nap).
But now, I have heard him pulling the fake cry any time he wants extra attention – followed by stopping immediately when he gets the full attention again of my wife or me. In fact he is starting to use it so much, it might start being his real cry. So, we just go along paying attention to all cries, because we are new parents who are paranoid about being labeled “bad parents” (or worse, actually being bad parents), and we don’t want to neglect our baby, even if he is not really needing anything more than the satisfaction of seeing that his “crying” is getting our attention. Fascinating.