A Totally Legitimate Guide to Decoding Your Baby's Cries

profile picture of Sara Given
BySara Given
Contributing Writer
Updated
Mar 2017
Hero Image

Meet Sara Given, a first-time mom who’s found her place in the online parenting world by poking fun at it. Her blog  “It’s Like They Know Us” rounds up all those ridiculously idyllic parenting stock photos you hate so much and adds the snarky captions they deserve. Check out her new book,  Parenting is Easy! (You’re Probably Just Doing it Wrong).

Newborns cry…a lot! While it may all seem like noise, your baby is actually communicating complex and specific information with you.

A cry that starts slowly and builds in intensity

“I can only see three inches in front of me, but I am already deeply disappointed by this nursery décor. Did you even think about accent pieces? What’s with all of the decals? Am I supposed to be into owls now? Are giant predatory birds really the best choice for a nursery?”

Forced and whiny; has a pattern of short repetitions.

“I hate sleeping. Sleep is my mortal enemy. I will not cease in my protests until sleep becomes a distant memory for this home and all who inhabit it. Good luck with your performance review at work tomorrow.”

Piercing and grating

“That lady in your online mommy forum was right. You need to do the opposite of everything you’re doing now.”

Low and repetitive

“Can we please watch something other than House Hunters? If I have to hear one more doe-eyed twenty-something say, ‘We were really hoping for granite countertops,’ I will lose my mind.”

Breathy and intermittent

“I have pooped again! I know it doesn’t seem humanly possible for such a tiny body to produce this much waste, but I am truly exceptional! Now it is seeping up my backside and is well on its way to my shoulder blades. Spoiler alert: It’s neon orange!"

Short and abrupt. Turns suddenly into inconsolable screaming

“Wild card! There really isn’t anything wrong. I just like watching you frantically search on the Internet.”

Desperate and unrelenting; usually high-pitched

“I’m hungry and I need to nurse for at least six hours. Please find a way to detach your breasts from your body and leave them in my mouth in full time.”

Related Video

A New Way to Treat Colic: Baby Acupuncture

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
01/18/2017

When Baby Will Start Crying Less

Bonnie Vengrow
Contributing Writer

New Charts Determine 'Normal' Amount of Crying Worldwide

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
04/03/2017

A Case for 'Crying It Out'

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor

Colic 101: Everything You Need to Know

Stacey Feintuch
Contributing Writer

Need to Decode Baby's Cries? There's an App for That

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
12/31/2015

Q&A: Dairy and Colic?

Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA
Lactation Specialist

March of Dimes Composes Lullaby of Baby Cries

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
09/26/2017

Study Shows Universal Reaction of Moms to Babies Crying

Natalie Neusch
Contributing Writer
Published
10/28/2017

No More Tears: How to Stop Baby From Crying

Kristen Kemp
Contributing Writer
Advertisement