For first time parents, it can be quite frustrating when your newborn cries and you don’t know why. By learning about the different types of cries, you can limit the guessing game, and maybe even go back to sleep quicker.
There are three main cries that you should become familiar with right away:
- “I’m hungry, uncomfortable, hot, cold or need my diaper changed.” This cry is usually a semi-frantic and generally upset sound. Your crying baby is saying, “I need something to be done – right now, please.” It can mean anything from “I’m hungry” to “I need a new diaper.” Something is wrong, and you need to find out what it is.
- “I’m tired and I don’t know what to do about it.” This baby cry is a softer, whinier version of the first. This is less of a call-to-action and more of an attempt to let you know how they are feeling. This cry may even sound as if they are genuinely sad. It is a heartbreaking sound, but it is generally more straightforward as to the cause and solution.
- “I am in pain.” This cry is very important to recognize. It is shrill and more intense than both of the other cries. It has a much higher pitch and is communicating a sense of urgency. A baby crying in this way is more than likely in pain – you need to contact your doctor.
Once you master these different messages, the next step is learning how to calm your crying baby. Here are some simple ways that seem to work with most babies:
- Walking: Changing the scenery diverts their attention. Pat their bottom as you walk around.
- Talking: They love the sound of your voice. It doesn’t matter what you say, just how you say it. Soft tones are the most soothing.
- Using a pacifier: The sucking motion is especially comforting to newborns. If they are not hungry, a pacifier might just do the trick.
- Swaddling: It is thought that being wrapped up and held warmly and tightly simulates being in the womb, which is comforting for the baby.