Decoding Your Baby’s 7 Types of Cries

Crying is a normal communication response that newborn babies use, but unfortunately, it can be hard for parents to listen to.  Not understanding why a baby cries, leaves a parent at a loss for what to do to comfort them. 


Even though your baby can’t talk, she is capable of giving you some clues to help you understand what she’s communicating. Since she can’t exactly tell you what she needs with words, she relies on an array of whimpers, cries and all-out screams to get your attention. But all cries are not created equal.

Babies tend to have different cries to express different needs, desires or emotions. While you might be a natural at cracking the code on some types of crying, most new parents benefit from a little guidance. Here are some “crib” notes to help clue you in to what your baby may be saying (or screaming):

1. I’m hungry

Listen for: A rhythmic, repetitive cry, combined with other signals such as rooting for the breast or sucking her fingers.

The solution: Respond to hunger cries quickly so that baby doesn’t get too worked up. If she’s upset and begins gulping air with her milk, she may trap gas or spit up, which will result in more crying.

2. I’m in pain

Listen for: An ear-piercing, panicked, out-of-the-ordinary cry that comes on suddenly (usually in response to something painful, like a shot). Each cry lasts as long as a few seconds, leaving baby breathless, and is followed by a long pause as baby breathes and then repeats a long, high-pitched shriek.

The solution: If your baby is in pain, tend to her immediately. Pick her up and try cuddling or rocking her. If the pain is from gas, she may also bring her knees up to her chest and grunt. You may be able to comfort her by …


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