We’ve all been there, the middle of the supermarket and baby starts screaming probably annoying everybody around them. Do you apologise? Baby’s first time on a plane, crying during landing kicking the chair and probably irritating the person in front. Do you apologise? Your baby flips a toy up and hits their own face causing them to cry out in pain, your visitors weren’t expecting this level of noise. Do you apologise?
Should you be considerate? Should you care what a stranger thinks about you and your baby? Does it bother you if you are annoying people around you?
Before you had children did you silently judge the parents that seemingly couldn’t cope with their screaming little brats? Were you the type of person that used that annoying phrase, “if I had kids they wouldn’t do that!”
Or do you still silently judge parents that cannot console their babies? Now that you have a baby and know how to calm a baby down. Do you desperately want to intervene and rock the baby, feed them or put their dummy in?
Would it alarm you to hear that I do apologise. In fact almost every time my baby cries I find myself apologising.
“I’m sorry” is becoming one of my common catchphrases actually.
I apologise to my baby. Not anybody else.
Since my baby has been old enough to understand his routine, I find myself apologising to him when he is sad because I feel like I have confused him. I am responsible for him, it is my job to teach him about the world. If we have spent months learning about eating, bath time or bed time and then I randomly change something, I am causing confusion and it is my fault he is crying!
We have a routine, he knows our house and he knows his Nanny’s house. We do the same thing pretty much every week so he understands our little world but every now and then the routine will change.
When I drag him round for some unexpected evening shopping instead of giving him his bath and he cries I say, “I’m sorry mate! We’ll be back to normal tomorrow.”
When he cried on the plane I said, “I’m sorry if your ears are hurting little one but I promise we’ll have fun when we get there.”
When he innocently hits himself with a toy I say, “I’m sorry I didn’t get to you fast enough to stop you getting hurt.”
When he cries because he is tired, poorly, teething or has belly ache, I say, “I’m sorry I can’t take it all away for you!”
So you see, I pretty much always apologise when my baby cries but only to him. I would never say sorry to a stranger on the off chance that I’ve inconvenienced their day. Adults should be mature and experienced enough to understand that babies are communicating by crying. If they can’t understand that then my apology will make no difference.
My baby is still learning to understand the world, so I am sorry when he cries.
This post was also published on Huffington Post.