Breastfed babies cry more

Awesome words of encouragement there.

I firmly believe that it is far more important that a baby is fed than how it is fed. However, because I am human and a walking contradiction, I also believe that breast is indeed best and that even the first feed can make a whole world of difference.  I feel saddened if I see the words “couldn’t be bothered” with regards to breastfeeding.

There have been quite a few articles thrown around the internet lately about the frequency and duration of crying in babies relating to the method of feeding, the most recent one being on the BBC website and beginning with the headline “Breastfed babies cry more”

I know, I know, that article is supposed to be encouragement to make breastfeeding mothers aware that breastfeeding babies nurse for various reasons, so therefore will cry more in order to gain attention from mum.  I know.

But, from a personal point of view, if I were a new mum and I was having the breast vs battle debate with myself, I would be completely put off by being told they cry more.

I think this is because we see crying as a negative thing.  If your baby cries, it means you’re doing something wrong. In fact, if your baby cries, it just means they need you.   They need Mum.  Not a dummy.  Not a bottle. Mum.

We have had two vastly different experiences with babies.  My first screamed.  Constantly.  Or at let it felt that way.  She was about 9 months old when it stopped.  She wold scream all day and night regardless of who held her or what was going on.  It was a nightmare.

My second cries if he wants me. That’s it.  If he cries, I know he wants me.  I have had compliments on how quiet he is.

Both babies were breast fed.  In fact, my daughter was combine fed and she cried more. 

Sweeping generalisations do more harm than good….generally.

Maybe I’m becoming a hippy.  Maybe doing it second time round with a calmer baby has made me believe that we should all have unmedicated births and breastfeed our babies well into toddlerhood (oh if only everything were that perfect.) But I don’t believe saying that babies cry more is a sympathetic view. 

“Oh, it’s OK he’s up all night howling, he’s breastfed.” 

(Most likely followed in the next breath by “Just give him a bottle.”)


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