Baby cries and their meanings


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One way babies communicate – it’s nature’s way of making sure infants get their needs met so they can survive.

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Baby cries and their meanings

  1. 1. Baby cries and their meanings... One way babies communicate – it’s nature’s way of making sure infants get their needs met so they can survive
  2. 2. Hunger A soft intermittent cry that slowly increases in intensity may signal hunger," says Spangler. But actually crying from hunger is a late sign of hunger. Before she start crying, your baby is likely to show other signs such as sucking on her hands, nuzzling against or rooting on your breasts, pursing her lips or sucking, or stretching her body out. Since your milk supply changes according to your babys needs, responding to her hunger signals keeps the flow going.
  3. 3. PainSpangler reckons that "a loud, sudden,scream can be a sign of pain." If the crycomes out of nowhere, startles you withsuddenness and intensity, and makes thehackles on the back of your neck standup, its probably a pain cry. Identifyingthe source of the pain is often not easy,but just changing babys positiongenerally helps. Watch out for phantomhairs that wind themselves aroundtender, tiny fingers and toes, and forclothing/tags that pinch babys body orirritate is skin.
  4. 4. Exhaustion Tired cries often sound cranky and complaining at first and build in intensity. Watch to cries. When infants are really small, they often only go a few hours before needing to sleep again, so new moms may get out for dead- giveaway early cues like eye-rubbing or a glassy-eyed stare and things may not even progress to know the tired cry awfully well.
  5. 5. SicknessJust as illnesses can be mild or severe, so the "Im sick!" cry can rangefrom the sudden-and-severe pain wail to the complaining "wahhhwahhh" of a tired child. Youll know your baby is crying due tosickness if he has a rash, a fever, or other visible signs. But watch forbody language too: A baby who tugs on her ear may have an earache;any other part of the body he flails or grabs at may be pained.
  6. 6. Dirty diaper Many, many infants have no problem lying around in a wet or full diaper.Some rather enjoy squishing around, while others (particularly those in disposablediapers with wicking properties) barely notice, and allow their moms to delaychanging baby until things start sagging. Not that Id know anything about that. No,no. Surely not. In any case, if you have a baby who does mind, hell either complainmildly or scream sharply. The last may be an indication that his skin is irritated.
  7. 7. ConstipationNot to put too fine a point on it, if your baby grunts and struggles, pullinghis legs up to his chest, while he cries with a wail varying in intensity fromcomplaint to pain, it may be constipation. I knew a grandma who used tocure baby stop-ups by looking into babys eyes, grunting and making effortfaces.
  8. 8. Teething I keep saying this over and over again, but teething cries vary in intensity.If baby is merely uncomfortable, he will cry a softer, whinier cry; if hes interrible pain, hell scream. The physical cues that accompany this cry arechewing on things (duh), drooling, a lot of hand-waving and grabbing nearthe mouth, and tugging on ears. Yes, tugging on the ears can also indicatean earache. No, you may not be able to tell the difference. Welcome toparenthood, where you realize how much your own parents winged it.
  9. 9. The Chilly feelingIm cold! Hey, guess what? Temperature-complaint cries can vary in intensity, according to howuncomfortable your child is. Did you guess? Babies are more likely to cry when theyre coldthan when theyre warm, though, so if you just whipped off your babys clothes to change herdiaper, or took her out of the warm bath to put on cold pajamas, hey, baby might be cold. Thegolden rule when it comes to babys clothing is to dress her like you dress yourself, tendingtowards more layers rather than less. Know your baby, though. Some are hot, some are cold;youll know by touching his or her skin and getting familiar with her patterns.
  10. 10. ColicYou will know its colic if the cry never ends.Many new parents think this describes theirbaby, but experts define colic in threes: three ormore hours in a row of crying at least three daysa week for at least three weeks running. Eventhough babys cries fray nerves to the pointwhen you may feel like the crying never ends,only about 20 percent of babies actually havecolic. If it is colic, however, you may notice thatthe worst episodes occur in the late afternoon orevening ("the witching hour"), and that his bellylooks puffy or that he farts a lot as he cries. Notthat it helps. What does: Time. A colicky babynearly always outgrows the problem sometimebetween 3 and 5 months. Get a good pair ofheadphones, hunker down, and soldier throughit.
  11. 11. Where’s my Mumma??? Wheres mumma? Generally not as sharp as pain cries, this cry can have a questioning tone. What? Where? It may also sound like a complaining blast: "Hey, you!" Or it can sound more intense, if baby is frightened: "Mama, come here right now! I need you" If you have a child going through separation anxiety, or a baby who just wants companionship more, you may swiftly grow to know this cry, particularly if he makes it every time you wander away from his eyesight.