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Is there a different cry for different reasons, such as one cry for comfort and another for feeding? / FAQs / Pregnancy information from midwivesonline.com

Is there a different cry for different reasons, such as one cry for comfort and another for feeding?

Crying is a baby's way of communicating one of those needs. As a new parent, it can sometimes be difficult to work out what your baby is telling you. In the early days, when you have not yet learned to work out what your baby needs, this crying can be upsetting. However, you will gradually begin to recognise your baby's different crying patterns and there particular sounds, as you get to know her better, will be able to anticipate her needs. So many people do feel there is a different cry for different reasons

Here are some reasons why your baby might cry:

  • Is he hungry? If your baby is crying, offer milk first.
  • Does he need physical comfort? Most babies benefit from being held and cuddled and are far more likely to doze off contentedly in your arms than lying in a cot.
  • Is your baby uncomfortable? Perhaps he has wind after a feed - pick him up and hold him gently upright.
  • Does his nappy need changing? Some babies hate having a dirty nappy, others don’t mind at all.
  • Is your baby too hot or cold? Young babies are not very good at maintaining an even temperature.
  • Is he over stimulated? For a newborn, the little changes of everyday life can be too much - a loud noise, bright lights, an unexpected face, too much laughter. These are all minor events to us, but to a newborn these new experiences can be distressing
  • Is he bored? You cannot expect a baby to lie in his cot for long when he is wide awake without interaction and play. This is an important part of learning. If he is bored, pick him up and talk gently to him

As babies grow, they gradually learn other ways of communicating with us, too. They get better at eye contact, making noises, and even smiling, all of which reduce the need for crying. Trust your judgement. You soon become familiar with your own baby and recognise what each cry may be for.

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