Thursday, May 27, 2010
As you already know, newborn babies communicate mainly through cries. The first cry you probably heard was your baby’s birth cry, which consists of a couple of gasps and a wail lasting about a second. Other cries will tell you things like “I’m hungry,” “I’m in pain,” or “I’m upset.” The hunger cry is typically a pattern of loud crying, silence, whistling inhalation, and rest, which may include a sucking response. Pain is expressed by a loud, shrill cry. This pattern includes a long cry, a long breath-holding silence, and whimpering. Often your baby will manifest tension in his face, some frowns, or clenched fists. An upset or angry cry expends a large volume of air, resulting in an exasperated sound. These are general patterns of cries— your baby will have his own variation. It won’t take you long to tell the difference between your baby’s cries. This is a first area of connection for you and your baby, just like eye contact in the visual system and reflexes in the motor system.