Thursday, January 22, 2009

Baby Cries - What are they saying?

I watched a Baby Story today and was shocked when I heard a new set of parents talk about how they could decipher their 6 week old baby's cries. The proud papa said he could tell when the baby was hungry, or tired or needed a diaper.

I was shocked. Did I miss a class on baby speak somewhere? I've always heard that babies have different cries for different needs but as a mother of three, I've never been able to tell what my newborns wanted. I only know one cry - it's the high pitched screech or shriek of my children. I'm sure you've seen it once or twice when your child was really mad. It's the red faced, open mouthed scream of terror. That's all I ever see and I can't crack the code for all I'm worth. I can't tell if it means, "my milk isn't coming out fast enough", "my diaper is dirty", or "I need to sleep, you idiot!"

Is it me? Is it my babies? Why can't I understand their shrieks? My 3 month old daughter sat in a dirty diaper for almost an hour today before I figured out what was making her so angry. It never dawned on me that she could be dirty because I had just changed her. Perhaps the 13 weeks of sleep deprivation plays a part in my lack of understanding the language. At least I like to think it does.

Once the baby gets older, or I get more sleep, I start to figure it all out. I can tell what the kid wants. But at the newborn stage it's all a mystery. Is it me or do new parents pretend to understand their baby's cries just so they don't sound stupid because they really have no clue?

1 comment:

Ruth said...

I am totally on the clueless side, also after three kids. I could never tell what any of their cries meant when they were newborns. Maybe some parents really can tell. But then, some people think they understand their dogs, too. Who knows.