How to Interpret Your New Baby's Cries
When you first bring your little munchkin home from the hospital, every cry can sound like an urgent alarm. But how can you tell exactly what he needs? Is the “I’m sleepy” cry different from an “I’m starving” cry?
Right after birth, your newborn’s compact brain simply doesn’t have enough room for a wide range of grunts and whines. There are in fact 3 simple and distinct sounds he will make:
Whimpering. This mild fussing sounds more like requesting than complaining, like a call from a neighbor asking to borrow some sugar. Whimpering conveys a slight unhappiness like hunger or sleepiness.
Crying. This good, strong yelp demands your attention, like when your kitchen timer goes off. Crying indicates greater distress, like being very hungry or cold.
Shrieking. This is a piercing, glass-shattering wail, as shrill and unbearable as a burglar alarm. Shrieking signals pain or irritation.
Keep in mind that even an infant's most ear-splitting shrieks are simply her way of letting you know she's hungry, wet, soiled or even lonely. Once you give her what she needs, she’ll settle down. By 3 months, she will learn to make many different noises and you’ll decipher their meanings eventually. Exciting times ahead!
Did you know? SNOO smart sleeper helps parents better understanding their baby’s cues:
"SNOO has helped my confidence as a parent by helping me….If [my baby] is able to be calmed down with some rocking and white noise, then she probably isn't in discomfort and that helps me later on in the day when she cries. It allows me to determine when she needs something or when she just needs a hug and attention.”- Janine