• Cry Baby: Interpreting Your Baby's Crying Spells

    Interpret your child's crying spells to be attuned to his feelings and physical condition.
  • 1. “Feed me!” When baby sucks on a finger and smacks his lips, followed by a low-pitched, rhythmic cry, he might be hungry, says Nelizza de Gorostiza-Banocnoc, M.D., a pediatrician at San Juan de Dios Hospital in Pasay City.

    Solve it Take him for a walk in your arms first. If he falls asleep, he just might want to rest. If he continues to wail, feed him milk pronto.
     
     
    2. “I have a tummy ache!” Maria Concepcion Cabildo, M.D., a pediatrician at San Juan Medical Center in San Juan, says your baby may have a gas buildup or be constipated. If formula-fed, stomach cramps and slimy poop may occur from improper sterilization of feeding bottles or from water used.

    Solve it
    Burp him regularly. Set him in a side-lying or seating position right after eating. If symptoms continue, consult your pediatrician—you might need to switch to a different milk formula.
     
     
    3. “I’m bored” A baby who feels lonely in his crib may suddenly whimper.
     
    Solve it
    Move his crib to another part of the room; install a mobile. Talk to him while going about chores.

     
    4. “Don’t leave me!” Your momentary absence when your baby is between 8 and 12 months can set off separation anxiety attacks.
     
    Solve it
    If just leaving the room, give him a kiss and a pat to show you’ll come back. If you’re leaving for work, have somebody distract him while you exit.
     
     
    5. “Ouch! I’m getting squeezed!” A sudden scream with a high-pitched wail, followed by a pause, before starting all over again could be caused by pain.
     
    Solve it
    Check immediately if any part of baby’s body is caught on anything. Loosen his clothes and check for any tight straps if he is in a car seat or stroller.
     
     
    6. “I don’t feel good” A prolonged cry that sounds weak and/or nasal can be signs that your baby is sick. Usually, this low-pitched cry of pain is a symptom of an illness when accompanied by a flushed face, lack of appetite, low grade fever, diarrhea, and other symptoms.
     
    Solve it
    Dress your baby in light clothing; give him a sponge bath. Bring him to the pediatrician.
     
     
    7. “I want to rest” If he is exhausted, expect him to cry with a wailing and trembling, nasal sound that may build up.
     
    Solve it
    Gently rock him to sleep. Play soft music and dim the lights, Dr. Cabildo says. You can also refresh him with a quick sponge bath.
     
     
    8. “I feel irritated!” Too much noise and movement may upset your little one making him ill-tempered and prone to crying bouts.
     
    Solve it
    Observe how he is in crowded places. Avoid giving him too many toys at any one time. Keep baby’s environment peaceful and soothing.
     
     
     
    SOURCES
    l Nelizza de Gorostiza-Banocnoc, M.D., San Juan de Dios Hospital, Pasay City
    l Maria Concepcion Cabildo, M.D., San Juan Medical Center, San Juan City
    l American Academy of Pediatrics journals and studies

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