Understanding Your Baby’s Cries

Understanding Your Baby's Cries

The sound of your little munchkin crying can be quite worrisome, especially if you’re a first-time parent. You want to ensure your baby is happy, comfortable, and there’s nothing that’s causing it pain. 

The good thing is that usually, there’s nothing to fret about. Crying comes naturally to babies, just like napping. Marc Weissbluth, a renowned pediatrician and the author of ‘Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child,’ explains, “Babies cry like birds fly: It’s part of being the creature we are.”

Of course, your baby can’t talk to tell you what’s wrong. Nonetheless, there are surely ways in which babies tend to communicate with their caregivers. The most obvious one is ‘CRYING.’ The way and manner in which your baby is crying can help you understand what the little one needs. 

With that, let’s try to decode your baby’s cries. 

1. Your baby is hungry

Clues to watch out for

Your baby’s hunger cry is the most common type of cry you’ll listen to in the initial months. It begins with a low-pitched whining and escalates into more repetitive and loud cries.

When hunger is at an initial stage, your baby will give signals like finger sucking, looking for your breasts when you come near, etc. This is when you know your baby needs to be fed.

What to do?

Give a swift response to your baby’s hunger before it gets too fussy. Watch out for the time when your little one was last-fed. If it has been more than 2 hours, make sure to satiate your baby’s hunger pangs.

Try to calm down your baby first and then begin to feed.

2. Your baby is tired

Clues to watch out for

Low, breathy, broken cries that slowly build in intensity is usually your baby’s way to tell you it’s tired and doesn’t want any more stimulation. It is an intermittent cry, and your baby will initially show signs like rubbing its eyes and yawning.

What to do?

An infant usually sleeps for around 16 hours a day. You need to be careful when your baby has had enough and wants to rest and take a nap.

First, hold your newborn in your arms and try to soothe it by gently rubbing its back. You can also hum a soft tune and watch how pleasantly it sleeps, cuddled in your loving arms.

3. Your baby is uncomfortable

Clues to watch out for

When your baby has been crying continuously for some time making whining, nasal sounds, something might be annoying it.

You’re trying your best, but nothing seems to calm your baby. This is when you know something’s not right. Babies tend to become fussy and irritable when they’re in some sort of discomfort.

What to do?

The first thing you should do is to check your baby’s diaper and change it if it is soiled.

Wet diapers can make infants uncomfortable. If the diapers are fine, check your baby’s eyes for something that might have entered them.

Also, see that your baby isn’t feeling too warm or too cold. If you’ve just finished feeding your little one, it might just need to burp.

4. Your Baby Is in Pain

Clues to watch out for

It is a prolonged cry in a wailing and sobbing manner. When your baby begins to cry suddenly and loudly, your baby is likely sick and experiencing some sort of pain. This type of cry demands an urgent response from you. Your baby may have injured itself in some way or having stomach pain.

What to do?

Hold your baby and try to pacify it first. Your baby may just have got scared and wants to be held and loved. Then, check the stomach, and if it’s hard, your baby is possibly experiencing gaseous pain. Hold your baby in the upright position to relieve some pain.

Also, be careful of any sharp object lying around your baby, which can hurt and cause pain. 

However, if the infant still doesn’t stop crying and has signs of fever, consult with the best child specialist in Gurgaon right away.

5. Your baby is in colic phase

Colic crying is a term used for babies who cry for extended periods that last for three or more hours at least 3 to 4 times a week. Around 20 percent of newborns suffer from colic.

There’s no known cause or treatment of colic. However, it doesn’t pose any health risk for your baby and passes when your baby is 3 to 4 months old.

Clues to watch out for

Listen for intense, high-pitched wailing and screeching in your baby.

What to do?

Though it’s tough to calm down a colicky baby, you can try some soothing methods like swinging your baby in your arms and caressing your baby’s back.

Additional Tips

  • Don’t panic if you aren’t able to understand what your baby’s cry means. It’s possible that, every so often, your baby will still cry for no basic reason.
  • Naturally, you may feel too worked up or frustrated with their baby constantly crying. Take a break and deep breathe for some time. Everything will slowly fall into place.
  • If you think you may hurt your baby (yes, it’s completely normal for new parents, and you’re not alone), don’t hesitate to take help from your elders, relatives, friends, or neighbours.

It’s hard to see your bundle of joy wail and cry. But relax – it’s just your baby’s way to let you know that they need you in some way. With time and some patience, you will undoubtedly learn more and more about your baby and the way it tries to communicate with you.

If you find anything unusual in your baby’s cries, calling a doctor for consultation is the wisest thing you can do.

Happy parenting!

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