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A Totally Legitimate Guide to Decoding Your Baby's Cries

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By Sara Given, Contributing Writer
Updated March 2, 2017
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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.”

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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