Oh my! That was my reaction to this article, Cry Baby Link to Behavioural Problems from the BBC this morning. Apparently we don’t have enough to worry about. Now we ought to be concerned that our baby’s way of communicating basic needs is actually an early indicator that the naughty step is about to get a little worn. According to the artice,
“Babies who cry excessively and have problems feeding and sleeping have a greater risk of serious behavioural problems later in life.”
That’s my baby!! And so says millions of other mothers around the world. Surely we aren’t ALL raising deliquents? Scientists believe that babies who cry excessively after the age of three months- the magical marker for everything- may actually be displaying signs that they are heading for developng ADHD, “anxiety and depression as well as aggressive behaviour.”
Now you know why my reaction was oh my!
My son cries. He has a right temper on him actually, but I prefer to think that is it due to his frustration at being unable to communicate effectively. He now, through sheer determination if I know him well enough, has loads more words in his vocabulary than the big one did at this age. He can tell us when he wants more, when he’s had enough, when he’s hungry and when he wants to go and play with cars on the road.
Seriously though, most of his crying these days is born of frustration. But he does cry a lot more than the big one did and most days are peppered with at least nine or ten tantrums. We’re still waiting for the big one to have a tantrum. But does this really mean he is going to grow up to be the class trouble-maker or a proud ASBO owner? Hell, no!
He may have a temper. He may cry, have trouble sleeping and he may be a terrible eater. He could develop ADHD. But I’m not going to worry about it now.
The article does point out that parents need not be alarmed. But it does also state that “If you could prevent behavioural problems with an early intervention, in a public health-sense it could be very important… It is an important study” and I have to agree. BUT what makes crying excessive? How does a parent know if her child is just spirited or displaying signs of something more?
Having worked with children who have been diagnosed as ADHD and having spoken to those of the generation who believe it is all made up due to the fact that nobody had it when they were at school, I think the jury may be mixed on this one. Behavioural disgnoses must be so difficult to make. There are no definite symptoms, only interpretations of them. Gladly, its a little early to tell with the baby, but my money’s on him being just fine.