CRYING CLUES
Your Pregnancy|December 2021/January 2022
Discover the meaning behind your baby’s cries.
KERRYN MASSYN

Your baby’s crying may worry youat first, but it helps to know that it’sher only way to communicate with you at this early age. She’s unable to do anything for herself and relies on you to satisfy her needs. According to Barbara Constantinou, a registered nurse and childbirth educator at the Bedfordview Mother & Baby Centre, babies cry to communicate their basic needs to their mothers. She explains that when your baby cries she’s saying, “I’m hungry, or hot, or tired, or need to have my nappy changed, or need a hug.”

Babies also cry when they are in pain or aren’t feeling well because of colic, constipation or reflux. Even very young babies use facial expressions and other signals, like pulling their legs up towards their bodies to communicate, but crying is their preferred way to communicate.

WHY IS MY BABY CRYING?

It might be a bit frustrating at first to work out what your baby needs when she’s crying, but this will change as time passes.

Sister Constantinou says, “It’s your instinct as a parent to differentiate your baby’s cries. As your baby gets older, you’ll learn to distinguish each cry according to your baby’s needs. You’ll also learn to recognise what need your baby is communicating by the time of day that she cries. Your baby will become hungry at pretty much the same time every day, for example. Different cries also have different pitches. A really high-pitched cry could indicate a serious problem, for example.”

While you’re still learning to recognise your baby’s cry, you might want to systematically rule out the following basic needs she could be trying to communicate:

HUNGER

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