Help understanding baby different cries/cues(26 Posts)
I have a 7wk old formula-fed baby and I'm in despair over not understanding his cries/cues. Even when he's just fed, he'll root. The sounds all sound alike so we end up always calming him by feeding. I've read various books but he doesn't display a lot of the cues they mention. The only cry I recognise is when he's going to bring up wind when I burp him. I feel like a failure for not being able to decipher his needs. Any suggestions or tips?
I worried myself silly over this and only really worked it out by the time DS was 3 years old! (He is very happy btw, hasn't suffered) Do try not to worry. Books are for babies who have read them!
Just go through all the possible things it might be: hunger, nappy, tired. Repeat.
Invariably with my DS it was hunger. I had no idea what his cues meant either, so just fed him.
Are you using a dummy? You might find it useful if you're bottle feeding as sometimes they just fancy a suck rather than anything to eat.
Chin up, you're not a failure, you're doing really well
Please don't feel like a failure! I have a 9 week old and find it hard to decipher her cries at times too. She must be going through a growth spurt because she is feeding more over the last week than I would expect.
9/10 it's hunger I find.
It is good advice about the dummy from PLandJCs
Took me about six months to have any kind of an idea. I used to record DD and send the videos to DP at work, hoping that he could decipher what was up with her (he was just as clueless btw).
You are doing great. I agree that trying a dummy is a good idea if you don't think he's hungry.
Although if he's taking more milk he probably is hungry. If I offered DD a bottle and she wasn't hungry she wouldn't take it.
Thank you everyone. Part of my problem is that my son NEVER refuses food even if he's just fed. I have considered videoing my son to send to a friend of mine!
Could you try upping his bottles by an oz? Maybe he's not quite full after the feeds.
If he's not refusing it he must want it, babies can't "overeat".. Was he very big at birth?
Same as others - I never understood any of my DC cries! Although it took me a long while to realise they were mainly crying as they were tired. How much does she sleep in the day?
He was 7lb 9 at birth and measured 50th centile a few weeks ago when I was limiting his food according to the formula instructions. We then moved to baby-led feeding but he never refuses food and even when he's had a lot, will still keep drinking. He has never stopped a feed, only fallen asleep. However I don't want to get into a cycle where he overfeeds then sleeps. Any help would be appreciated!
My DS was bottle fed expressed breast milk and I fed him when he was hungry. He never, ever vomited milk so I knew he wasn't over-eating. One professional in particular told me I should be making him wait three hours between feeds, but I wasn't prepared to make my hungry baby wait. He wasn't big at birth, but shot up the charts and now, at almost 18mo he is at the top for both weight and height. He was a hungry, growing boy. He is perfectly proportional, but huge!
If your baby isn't bringing milk back up and seems eager for food, I think you should go with your gut and give it to him. But do try a dummy if you're not totally averse to the idea. Comfort sucking is quite valuable for babies, and in my experience, if they are genuinely hungry they will spit it out and cry for milk!
Ignore the formula tin and feed on demand. My DD needed milk much more often than the instructions on the tin. She ate little and often most of the time, but this sometimes changed to lots and often during a growth spurt.
I think it's pretty normal for them to fall asleep after a big glut of milk. DD used to do that sometimes.
I find it far easier with my second baby than my first. DD2 has a very obvious tired cry, and a very obvious in pain cry. Hunger not so clear but I coslept and breast fed and now she is weaned she eats anything so I don't really think she gets hungry!
With DD1 I really couldn't tell much difference between the cries. I don't know if it is the difference between the babies, or my greater experience - I must ask DH and my family.
Don't worry though, it is not nearly so clear as the books say. And the babies don't read the books anyway!
We got taught a list of things to consider if a baby is crying at our antenatal class, DH still conscientiously goes through them :-)
Hi, My baby is almost 11 weeks old, and only now do I understand one of his cries. He just looks at me very intensely and says 'oooohhh ohhhh' and I think that means he's hungry. It's like he's trying to make me understand him!
I think most little babies only cry when tired, after company or hungry. Its rarely boredom at a young age (but I may be wrong!)
DS is on formula and eats more than on the tin too! Also, do you use a dummy? It can be really comforting when they are fighting sleep. (I was anti-dummy, but was very stressed and upset early on and gave in, and we are both much happier - he only uses it at night now too!!)
It was at least three months before I started to be able to work it out and it was only because he had fallen into a semi predictable routine. You are doing grand!
To the PP who said you can't over feed a baby - you absolutely can over feed a formula fed baby. However op it sounds like you are doing great - at 7 weeks all they do is eat and sleep anyway so don't worry about the feeding and then sleeping
I have a 14 week DD and struggle to interpret cries too! I just work through the list. Am following a rough baby whisperer EASY routine and watch the clock to help work out what's going on, eg if she's been awake for an hour and a half (much less when she was 7 weeks) it's probably tiredness. Also I found that the rooting thing is often tiredness/ overstimulation with her. Complete with arm bashing at the boob! Looks so much like hunger it took me ages to work it out. A dummy and a rough routine were lifesavers for me! Sounds like you are doing a great job OP.
I hear all the time you can over feed a formula fed baby. I'm suspicious that this is propaganda from the anti-formula brigade. I was never able to get DD to eat more than she wanted. I tried, as she was eating little and often and I would have liked her to have more and go longer. She would push the teat out of her mouth with her tongue and smack the bottle away with her hand. I really don't think you can force them to eat if they're full.
Bisher my dd was(is) like this too & tells me very clearly when she is full up. My ds (5) on the other hand, would cry & cry and the only thing that ever stopped him was a bottle. He was having far more frequent feeds than recommended on the tin & was bringing up a fair bit after each feed. Plus he shot up the centiles on the growth charts. He did turn out to be cmpi and refluxy however with hindsight I'm pretty sure it was all made worse by the fact I overfed him - misinterpreting his tired signs as hunger. Once I established a loose routine with him (eat activity sleep) I found it much easier to tell what he was actually crying for.
OP - as others have said at this stage I dont think you need to worry too much about knowing what his cries mean. If he's eating a lot at the moment he's probably in a growth spurt.-If you are unsure, just run through the possible causes - hunger/wind/nappy/tired/cuddle & you'll likely have it covered!
bisher there is a lot of advice and research done on overfeeding formula fed babies from paediatricians and doctors. The advice you can't overfeed FF babies is very outdated and simply untrue - nothing to do with being anti formula or pro breastfeeding (I have done both so I'm neutral!).
misinterpreting his tired signs as hunger - omama I did exactly this with my first DC and as a result she was constantly bringing up a lot after feeds and absolutely piled on the pounds.
Have you heard of Dunstan Baby Language? I assumed it was all bollocks when a rather woo friend lent me a DVD before dc1 arrived, but actually at least some of it has proved true for all three of ours, the 'neh' cry for hunger in particular. Might be worth a Google?
People used to always say to me " you'll soon know the different cries", I've since learnt that's - crock, I never learnt and everything was just a process of elimination, lol.
As they get older and start give more clues, like grabbing etc, then you know, but that's much later, around 9 -12 months (ime).
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