Posts Tagged ‘crying’

Deciphering Baby Cries

Monday, August 1st, 2016

IMG_0106I am currently 25 weeks pregnant with my third baby, and let me say, I am not an expert. I’ve already been thinking about life with a newborn and how different things are going to be. Of course I am excited, but I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say I was a little nervous. When you have a newborn, there can be a lot of crying. But how do you know what this little baby wants when it can’t tell you? Luckily, experts are out there and have studied baby’s cries. Here are some of the cries many newborns do and what they could mean.

Hunger Cries
Many believe that the “neh” sound in baby talk is the hunger sound. When a baby starts sucking and their tongue is pushed to the roof of their mouth, this sound naturally occurs. Many times this is a low-pitched wail that stops once baby is given the breast or bottle. Growth spurts are a time when this sound can occur frequently. With my kids, I always offered the breast first when they were crying or seemed very upset. Milk does a body good.

Sleepy Cries
I’m convinced my son Levi had this cry going on all of the time and I was just too silly to notice. The sound “owh” is made in the reflex of a yawn. It could also sound like “wah-wah.” This cry could occur before naptime or bedtime and especially before you have a good schedule set for your little one. Remember, tired babies can become very upset so watch for sleep cues.

Cuddle Cries
These cries will start and stop when you pick your baby up. Babywearing is a great way to avoid these cries. My kids both loved being worn for the first year of their life. Newborns are used to being in a womb where they are cuddled and soothed, so it makes sense that babies want to be held. You may notice this cry more after you have been out of your normal routine or have been in a stimulating environment.

Gassy Cries
“Eair” is a sound that means lower gas. This sound is a deeper sound from the lower abdomen. If a baby is pulling his or her knees up or pushing down and out with his or her legs, they may be gassy. The “eh” sound could also mean gas. Try burping baby first. Sometimes this can be an easy solution. Bicycyling my baby’s legs always helped with gas, and occasionally we used a gas drop or gripe water. Baby could also like having their belly rubbed. If you are getting this cry often, start keeping a journal of what you eat and see if any foods might be causing colicky behavior. It’s pretty common for newborns to have sensitivity to caffeine, dairy, or even some leafy greens like broccoli or cabbage. Most babies outgrow the sensitivity within 6 months. If it makes you gassy, it could make baby gassy, too.

Babies are all different. Sometimes it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what your baby wants. I always tried to nurse my baby first. Then, I would check their diaper and then if all else failed, I would put them in a carrier, check their clothes, or sing and bounce. I look forward to being a mom of three and discovering what makes this little one happy. Of course, it will not be easy, but I do feel more informed than I did with my first child.

Remember baby cries aren’t all bad, even though they can be stressful. Your little one is just trying to communicate with you.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of 2 in transition. Her family is moving, starting a new adventure, and adding a new baby soon. 

Help–My Baby Cries When I Leave!

Monday, October 5th, 2015

separation anxietyFor many babies, mommy is their favorite person. We nurture them. We nurse and feed them. We rock them. We come to them in their times of distress in the night. Babies just love their mommies. My son, Levi, prefers me over anyone most of the time. Lately, Levi has discovered that I’m not always around. He’s discovered strangers. He’s started showing signs of separation anxiety. 

Separation anxiety usually begins around 6-7 months of age. Babies start to realize that you are leaving, but they don’t understand that you will be back. Some babies don’t show much remorse when mommy or daddy leaves. Some lose their mind. My son Levi is 12 months. For the past couple months, he begins to cry and whimper when he knows I will be leaving. When I take him to childcare at the local YMCA, he is crying before I even sign his name on the line. If I leave the room and he is left with a friend or someone he is unfamiliar with, he cries for me.

Many children don’t show separation anxiety until 10-18 months of age. This can be even harder because toddlers want some control in their environment and they can cry and scream much louder and show their disapproval in a much more unpleasant manner. All of this is hard on mom.

Here are some tips on how to get through separation anxiety with your little one:

  • Get your baby familiar with other people. This one is hard for me. We live in an area where I don’t know many people and family isn’t close. Allow a babysitter, friend, or your spouse to spend one-on-one time with your baby to create a sense of security with other people.
  • Keep the exit short and sweet. When it’s time for you to leave, don’t stay around and keep talking to your baby. Say something like, “Bye, Levi! See you in a little while.” Then, leave. Don’t worry if your baby is still crying. I try to remind myself if Levi is still crying and unable to be calmed down, someone will come find me.
  • Reassure and redirect. If you are dealing with separation anxiety with an older baby or toddler, you can use your words to reassure them that you will be back. Create security with your child by giving them a hug and a high-five each day before you leave them. Give them something to look forward to as you head out the door.

I left Levi in the YMCA childcare one day this past week. For the first time ever, he didn’t cry when we arrived. He didn’t cry when I left him, and he didn’t cry the entire time I was gone. I was amazed. I am hoping he is getting more comfortable with mommy being gone.

The best part about leaving your baby for a little while is coming back to them. The smiles, wet, slobbery kisses and giggles make it all worth it. Separation anxiety is just one of the hurdles of motherhood we all face. Baby will be okay, and so will you. One day, our kids will run away from us when they see us in the parking lot looking uncool picking them up from school. Then we can all laugh about the tantrums and tears of separation anxiety.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two who lives, writes, and loves her babies in Northeast Indiana.