How to Decipher Your Newborn’s Cries
Few things can make new parents feel more helpless than hearing a baby cry and not knowing what the infant needs. The solution for many parents is to go through the routine of changing the diaper, feeding, rocking, patting on the back—repeating the cycle again and again until the little one finally simmers down.
Fortunately for parents, there is another way. You can listen and decipher your newborn’s cries. Babies can actually communicate their needs quite well. It just takes a moment of patience and fine-tuning your ear to recognize various types of cries. Don’t take crying personally. Babies get upset for all kinds of reasons. Remember, healthy newborns will cry from one to four hours a day. Here’s how to understand different kinds of baby cries and tips to help soothe your infant:
Sort of like a storm-washed beach, these cries tend to be turbulent and persistent.
Soothing suggestion: Take your infant to a quiet area, wrap them in a swaddle and gently rock them.
When your child is hungry, the cry may be short and low-pitched. It can also rise and fall, as opposed to the shrill, piercing of cry from pain.
Soothing suggestion: If it’s not time for a meal, offer your baby a pacifier or thumb for sucking. The sensation often calms infants. Avoid overfeeding—try to wait for two to two-and-a-half hours between full feedings.
These cries usually start suddenly and may be the loudest. Conveying distress, they are typically high-pitched, shrieking, and longer lasting, and they are sometimes followed by a long pause and wail.
Soothing suggestion: Do a quick check of your baby to see what might be causing the pain, such as a pinching diaper or perhaps an arm or leg caught uncomfortably in a blanket. Try reswaddling your baby.
Leave Me Alone
This short and low-pitched cry is similar to a hunger cry.
Soothing suggestion: Be sure your infant is comfortable and the diaper is clean. Allow the child to cry for a little while. Many babies cannot fall asleep without crying at least some. Crying allows them to release stress and tension.