What does my baby's cry mean?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Just as a birdwatcher can distinguish the tweets of an oriole, chickadee, or a yellow-headed caracara, it won't take long before you can ID your baby's cry. But to help you early on, here are some tip-offs about what he wants when he's fussing. If he's squirming it could be that he has a dirty diaper. If he's turning his head to the side or putting his fist to his mouth, he might be hungry. If he's pulling his legs up to the chest and has a tense body then he may have gas. If he's sweating and had red ears then he may be too warm, so check his temperature and loosen his clothing.

If he's getting goose bumps or has purplish tone to his hands and feet, he's too cold and needs a blanket or a hat and socks. If he's flailing his arms and legs or turns from the light then he might be over-stimulated, so take him out of the current environment to a quieter one. If he's blink and yawning as well as kicking, then he might be tired. And if he's squirming and looking around, he just needs a cuddle.
YOU: Having a Baby: The Owner's Manual to a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy

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YOU: Having a Baby: The Owner's Manual to a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.