So, your baby’s crying is vibrating through your skull…
It’s taken you just a matter of days to recognise the fact your newborn has a number of different cries. There’s the soft whimpering, the persistent wail, the short and sharp cry and the epic, earth-moving screech. But what on earth do they mean and more importantly, how do you make your baby happy so they stop?
It may come as a shock to many, but babies don’t cry just to annoy you. They want something, and don’t have any words they can use to communicate those needs. All they can do is cry and wait for you to figure it out. It could be food they’re after, a cuddle, a nappy change or a big bottle of warm milk. Or my favourite – the cry they do to just let off steam. This could be due to a change in their schedule or because they were subjected to too many visitors at once.
Once you begin to be able to recognise the different cries, you just have to try and interpret them. This gets easier as you get used to their preferred schedule.
An article by Young Parents Magazine gives you a head start on interpreting your baby's cries. Writer Sasha Gonzales says, "Each form of crying, which can last for a couple of minutes or go on for hours, is an indication of a problem that he is experiencing."
This cry tends to be loud and repetitive. The crying may be mixed in with foraging for food and a bit of gum-smacking.
I used to always try and preempt my baby's cries once their routines were established. I got to know the whimper they did as they roused from sleep ready for food. If I could get in there quickly and start feeding them, the full cry would never happen. This was much easier to do while breastfeeding my second and third child but impossible with my first-born who was bottle fed. I got pretty quick at preparing bottles, just not quick enough.