Baby crying - what it means

Baby crying - what it means

Do you know what your baby’s cries mean? Here a dollar for everytime you can decode the different forms of the "baby cry". Don't be clueless and read on.

Baby cry and language

Do you understand that “baby cry”? There are many types…

Have you ever been in a store and heard a newborn baby cry a couple of aisles over? What’s the first thing thought that comes into your mind? If you’re like me, it’s ‘oh, that’s a new baby’. I can tell by that cry-it’s unmistakable.

The same can be said about other cries-the cries that only a mother can recognize as sincere or dramatized. But how? How does a mother know what her baby crying means?

Some scientists believe that babies make reflex sounds in an attempt to communicate with their parents and care givers. These sounds are emitted in their cries, which are thought to believe contain different sounds. The Dunstan language of babies is the most prevalent of these theories. Other professionals argue that there is not adequate research or conclusive results to prove the validity of Dunstan’s findings.

Crying baby

Here is the breakdown of the cry’s of a baby

So in answer to the question of how a mum knows? They just do. Well, that and… here are the different baby cries:

  • A hungry baby’s cries will be rhythmic and repetitive. The cry will often be accompanied by sucking sounds, rooting or sucking on fingers or hands. Timing also plays a big part in a hungry cry. If your baby hasn’t eaten in 3 hours or so, chances are pretty good that he/she wants to eat. Dunstan baby language tells us to listen for ‘n’ sounds in a baby’s hungry cry.
  • A tired baby’s cry will start slowly and build in intensity. A tired baby will also rub their eyes, yawn and move around as if trying to keep themselves awake. The ‘ow’ sound is heard in a baby’s tired cry according to Dunstan.
  • A stressed baby will toss and turn while crying in a whiny sort of way. The cry is often described as fussy. They will turn away from the sounds or sights that are stressing them out.
  • The cry of a baby who is suffering from colic is persistent, loud and sharp. They will often draw their legs up in pain. The ‘eh’ sound, according to Dunstan’s language of babies, indicates a need to be burped or to be relieved of gas.
  • Sudden, intense, sharp cries that come suddenly indicate pain. This type of cry can also indicate extreme fear.
  • Whimpers and soft cries or whining are signs of not feeling well. They are sending the message of “I need some TLC”. A ‘heh’ sound indicates discomfort in Dunstan’s baby language.

Response to a baby crying

No matter what the reason, responding to your baby’s cries doesn’t result in a spoiled baby. Your response sends the message that you are there to love, protect and provide security and comfort.

In fact, by providing these life essentials to your baby, you’re much less apt to have a whiner on your hands when they reach the world of ‘toddlerhood’.

If your baby cries longer than usual and nothing you do soothes him, call your Doctor to see if there is a medical reason or if he’s sick. He may have colic.

And remember, NEVER shake your baby. If you begin to feel very frustrated, call a friend for help.


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Written by

Darla Noble

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