Types of Babies' Cries
Experienced parents know that their babies don’t always cry the same way. If you need help understanding the message that your child is trying to convey to you, pay attention to the different characteristics of babies’ cries mentioned below.
Did you know that a baby’s cry can be different depending on what they want to express? At first all of their cries may seem the same, however with time your maternal instinct will learn how to differentiate them.
Learn to recognize what your baby is trying to convey with the following tips.
Crying is the only way a baby can communicate their needs. They cry to tell their parents that they’re hungry, cold, sleepy or afraid.
Some babies cry intensely during the first days or weeks of life. Don’t worry if you notice that your baby is crying without tears. Babies only start to produce tears after the sixth week of life.
Some babies on the contrary are calm and barely cry during the first weeks of life.
As the baby reaches the age of three months, they acquire more tools to express themselves. They’ll start to use their bodies little by little as a tool to express themselves before they start to say their first words.
Why should you attend to your child when they cry?
If a baby cries, you can be sure that they aren’t pretending. There is something wrong. It’s important for parents to try to find the source of their child’s distress.
Failure to attend to your child will generate feelings of insecurity.
They’ll believe that their parents aren’t there for them. This insecurity can generate a lot of stress that is capable of influencing the child’s development in negative ways.
In order to help the child, touch is a valuable tool. Touch is an important source of affection. A parent’s caress is enough to make them feel loved, cared for and safe.
Touch is also important for the construction of bonds which will eventually allow the child to structure their personality.
Types of babies’ cries
Crying from pain
This type of crying is characterized by its sharpness and intensity. It occurs when the child feels discomfort or pain and they want to call their parents’ attention to it.
This type of crying is different from crying that is caused by illness. When it comes to crying from illness, their lack of energy can lead them to produce rather long and sustained moans.
In addition, parents will be able to identify other symptoms that may accompany crying caused by illness such as fever, cough or nasal secretion.
Crying from hunger
This is one of the most common cries that babies produce. It’s a high and continuous cry that in most cases doesn’t stop until the child is fed.
This is their way of asking for food. If they aren’t fed, they may continue crying loudly only stopping to breathe.
Crying from colic
Crying from colic can be one of the most frustrating experiences for the parents of a small baby. These cries are sustained and intense, since the baby is suffering from constant discomfort.
Parents will also be able to perceive pain and discomfort in the baby’s face.
These cries usually occur after feeding, since the baby’s digestive system is still adapting to breast milk. Parents should know how to recognize cries that are caused by colic and they should try to comfort their baby.
The task of taking care of a baby who is suffering from colic should be shared by both parents since it can be very frustrating.
“It’s important that parents attend to their baby when he or she cries, failure to attend to your child can generate feelings of insecurity.”
Crying from tiredness
This is one of the easiest types of crying to recognize. In the first place, it’s enough to evaluate how much the baby has slept in the last few hours.
This type of crying is also accompanied by yawning. The baby may also rub their eyes. When faced with this type of crying, parents should try to calm down their baby in order to help them sleep.
Crying from discomfort or frustration
Lastly, babies may also cry when they feel uncomfortable. This includes discomfort caused by cold, wet diapers, restlessness or not wanting to be picked up. They may also cry due to boredom or when they want something they haven’t received.
How can you identify this type of crying? It’s easy, their lips will protrude forward, making a “pout.” When they’re crying from discomfort it’s important to give them affection or solve the source of their discomfort.
In conclusion, babies’ cries are useful for their survival. It’s the main tool they have to communicate with their parents. Unlike smiles or babbling, their cries are usually caused by something they’re lacking.
If parents don’t know how to identify or respond to their baby’s cries in an appropriate way, this will only generate frustration and insecurity for the child.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
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- Long, T., & Johnson, M. (2001). Living and coping with excessive infantile crying. Journal of advanced nursing, 34(2), 155-162. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1365-2648.2001.01740.x
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