It’s 1a.m. Frustrated and tired, your baby begins to wail again, and you just can’t figure out what is wrong.
Every mother has been in this position at one point or another. Trying to meet the needs of a helpless little soul who can’t speak a lick can be a challenge to say the least.
Babies, however, aren’t completely void of a communication method. They may not have mastered the English language, but they sure are aces at crying; and every whimper can be delivering a message in code.
The general consensus is that there are six different types of cries that a baby will do, each one corresponding to a specific need they have.
While the explanation of all six cries isn’t a surefire approach, it can help parents have some guidance on how to navigate this stressful time.
A baby that is hungry will not wane in their tears, because hunger just doesn’t go away. So if the cry is low pitched, repetitive, and to the same beat, it could be lunch time.
Your baby will give other signs to show you they need a milk fix as well. Rooting for the breast, putting their hand to their mouth, or trying to suck the air are all good indications that you need to get that baby some food.
This is not a cry you procrastinate with. The more they try to “drink” the air, the more gas it can cause, which will make your baby spit up or be uncomfortable.
An escalating cry that begins as a mere whine and quickly builds to a nasally full outfit can indicate a nap is on order.
Just like when your baby is hungry, they will show additional signs that they have had enough of the world for now.
Look for yawns, rubbing the eyes, or tugging on the ears is the bedtime alarm. Newborns need around 16 hours of sleep, so you may get well-acquainted with this particular cry.
Occasionally, this can also mean that they are uncomfortable. Check baby’s diaper, make sure they have appropriate clothes on for the weather, and then see if the crying stops.
With babies, there is a perfect amount of stimulation they need. You may find they are engaged and smiling for the first ten rounds of peek-a-boo, but number eleven may set them off.
A cry that they are ready for some relaxation time will usually sound like a “fussy, whiny” cry, according to What To Expect.
Body language is a big one here. Look for signs that your baby is trying to escape the stimulation they now find annoying by turning their head, or body, away from the noise.
Try some white noise to set the mood calmer, and remove your baby from the environment with all the ruckus.
Making dinner, you hear little one begin to make some sweet coos in their swing. Smiling briefly in their direction, you continue to chop the tomatoes.
Then your baby begins to fuss, so you start singing a song of reassurance in his general direction.
This is simply not enough play for your little one, so they begin to give a cry of contempt with intermittent whimpers.
An easy fix (as long as the family doesn’t mind eating dinner out of cans) for this cry is to just pick your baby up and give them some quality one-on-one interaction.
The dreaded colic cry is intense, and mimics more of a constant scream, with jerk motions.
What to Expect reported:
“Colic often occurs in the late afternoon or evening, and the episodes can last for hours. It typically starts at around 3 weeks after birth and goes away by the time baby is 3 to 4 months old.”
Do your best to comfort them while they get through this tough period. Try laying them on their belly across your forearm or knees.
It is also important to note that food allergies or sensitivities can mimic colic. The most common of these are dairy, gluten and msg. Talk to your pediatricians if you have concerns.
6. Not Feeling Well
When your baby is sick, their cries sound tired, weak, and nasally. Since they don’t feel well, their cries are usually low energy, and low pitch.
With this cry, check your baby’s temperature. Other signs that there may be something awry are diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, or a rash.
If you suspect that your baby is fighting something, call your pediatrician to see if you should get your little one checked out.
Your baby is bound to get sick at one point or another, and most of the time it is no cause for concern.
Do what you can to console the poor patient, giving more TLC than normal, and soon it should pass.
“Crying is a type of normal behavior in infants,” states Marc Weissbluth, MD, a renowned pediatrician in Chicago and author of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.”
Just because the cosmos loves to mess with us sometimes, babies will at times cry for no reason at all. They could need to release some energy for nap time, or have nothing better to do.
As time progresses, you will understand your baby’s communication style more and more, making crying sessions much less stressful.
Keeping a routine can help you decipher your little ones cries more quickly. If it’s 10 am, and nap time is usually 9:45, then your baby is crying to let you know the schedule is off.
You may not always be able to stop a baby from crying right away. If it persists longer than your patience, then put the baby in the crib for ten minutes to give yourself a break, and then come back in to start through the list of remedies again.
Babies are beautifully designed with ways of talking to mommy and daddy, letting you know how best to care for them.
Please let us know in the comments section if you are able to understand your baby’s signals, or if you were able to use the tips above to help your little one.
(h/t Mommy Underground)