A Baby’s Cry
Crying is normal and research has shown that infants cry an average of 2-3 hours a day. Crying is the only verbal communication that babies can use to attract attention from their parents and let them know that they need something.
During the first few weeks, mothers demonstrate a unique ability to recognize different sensory cues from their own baby, including visual, auditory (hearing), and olfactory (smell) cues.
These stimuli, such as a hunger cry or smiling face, are powerful motivators for a mother to respond through care-giving, physical touch, speech, or play.
The only way to master this art of interpretation is by spending time observing, responding and getting to know your baby. It is no different from any other relationship where we learn how individuals express their needs. However, there are a few common reasons why babies do cry:
- Hunger - This is the most common reason for a baby crying. This type of cry is often loud and demanding as hunger is a drive, it will not stop until the baby is fed. Feeding baby may soothe them, almost instantly.
- Discomfort - A Baby may try to attract your attention after wetting his/her nappy as it is an uncomfortable feeling. They will also cry when they are too hot or too cold, for similar reasons.
- Tiredness - Then there is the tired cry, alerting you that they need to sleep. This is like a moan and a grizzle and can be intermittent at first and then loud and persistent if your baby gets over tired.
- Pain - If your baby is in pain or is unwell, crying is often very high-pitched in tones or frantic. This is very piercing and you will not miss it. See your local doctor for assistance.
- Kaitz M, Good A, Rokem AM, Eidelman AI., Mothers’ andfathers’ recognition of their newborns’ photographs during the postpartum period. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 1988;9(4):223–226.
- Kaitz M, Rokem AM, Eidelman AI., Infants’ face-recognition by primiparous and multiparous women. Percept Mot Skills. 1988; 67(2):495–502.
- Green JA, Gustafson GE. Individual recognition of human infants on the basis of cries alone. Dev Psychobiol. 1983;16(6): 485–493. Kaitz M, Good A, Rokem AM, Eidelman AI.. Mothers’ recognition of their newborns by olfactory cues. Dev Psychobiol. 1987; 20(6):587–591.
Need More Information?
- Ngala Parenting Line – For families of children aged 0 to 18. call 9368 9368 or 1800 111 546 for country callers. 8am to 8pm, Monday to Sunday. You can also request a call from the Ngala Parenting Line online.
- Ngala Parenting Workshops – workshops held on a variety of parenting topics in Perth and Surrounding areas.
- Parenting Books and DVDs – a range of Ngala books and DVDs are available through the Ngala Resources Shop.
- Tip Sheets – A range of tip sheets on a variety of parenting topics is available online.
- Community Programs – Ngala run a number of community programs targeted to families with specific needs in particular locations
When: 30 Mar, 9:30am
Birth to 4 months: A 5-week series of workshops for parents with a newborn baby. Each workshop covers a wide range of topics about you and your new baby and provides the opportunity to meet and connect with other new parents in your local area.