Yelling, crying, howling and screaming are all just ways that babies communicate. Often there is a simple reason for the yelling such as:
- They're hungry (this is often the problem-newborn babies have tiny stomachs and get hungry quickly!)
- Their nappy needs changing.
- They have gas pains (try burping them or gently massaging their tummy).
- They're uncomfotable (check their clothing and what they're laying on).
- They're teething (offer infant paracetamol or a teething ring).
- They're feeling ill (check their symptoms and seek medical attention).
- They need a cuddle.
- They're overtired or overstimulated (try dimming the lights, singing to them and rocking them to sleep).
- They're too hot or too cold (check their chest rather than their hands or feet).
Priscilla Dunstan claims that babies have their own 'language' and that you can learn to recognise the five distinct types of cry. The video below shows Dunstan being interviewed by Oprah and is really interesting. If you'd like to know more about this, visit dunstanbaby.com.
They're Still Yelling...What Now?
Dealing with excessive crying and screaming can be exhausting and maddening. If they've been yelling for a long time and you've had no success, see my post on Soothing and the 5 S's to help calm them down. NEVER shake your baby. If you feel yourself getting angry or stressed, put the baby down for a minute and take some deep breaths. Call a friend or family member for support, or ring a helpline such as Cry-sis: 08451 228669.
Remember, you know your baby best. If the crying seems excessive, unusual, high-pitched or just 'wrong' to you, take them to see the GP (or to A&E if you are really concerned and they have other symptoms). It's better to be safe than sorry.
What are your coping strategies for dealing with babies yelling? Do you believe in a 'universal baby language'?