One of the most frustrating parts of being a new parent is feeling like your baby is just crying for no reason. But did you know that Newborns can talk to you? They have their own language, and if you listen to it, they'll keep using it.
Before my child was born, I was sure I would use the "cry it out" method, crying doesn't hurt babies, and as my Mexican great grandmother used to say, "crying is good for the babies, they exercise their lungs." As soon as tiny Mateo was born, however, I saw it in his teeny almond shaped eyes: every time he was crying he was telling me something. I didn't have it in me to let him cry it out. I spent the next few weeks trying to decode his cries and his communicative glare, and then I found Pricilla Dunstan online, who quite frankly changed how we approached Mateo. Which then greatly diminished his crying.
An Australian mom, Pricilla Dunstan realized that her child had 5 different cries depending on what he was asking for at the time. She is said to have "photographic memory of sound" but you definitely don't need that to recognize the different sounds. All you need is patience, practice, and soon you'll be able to understand any newborn.
1- "Neh" This sound means "I'm hungry." It comes from the baby's sucking reflex, which pushes the tongue to the roof of the mouth as they cry, therefore creating an 'n' sound.
2- 'Owh' This means "I'm sleepy." It also comes from a reflex : a yawn reflex.
3- 'He' This means "I'm uncomfortable." No particular reflex bringing this one on, but it's a very definite 'hh' sound when they're cold, wet, hot, or in an uncomfortable position, etc..
4- 'Eair' This means "I have lower gas." It kind of sounds like 'air' with an extra vowel before it, and it's a deeper sound. This one is more difficult to hear, but usually a newborn will be moving their bottom half of their body, kicking or pushing their legs down. Also, their face will show a discomfort.
5- 'Eh' this means "I need to burp". (Also a sharp 'eeeee') It's similar to Neh and Heh but it doesn't have an initial sound, so watch out for that.
Now when you read these sounds, they don't even look that different, but once you start listening FOR them, you'll hear the difference! Search for some of Pricilla Dunstan's videos on youtube to see what I'm talking about, and be amazed!
Note: Dunstan says that while these sounds are instinctual, if a baby is trying to communicate and the parents don't respond accordingly, they may stop using these noises after a while.
*Disclaimer: there is such a thing as colic, defined as uncontrollable crying, which is different from when your baby is using his or her language. If your baby seems to have colic (identified by 3 or more days of crying for 3 hours or more a week) contact your pediatrician.