4 Types of Baby Cries and What They Mean

Q. How can I tell the difference between a cry of hunger and a cry of pain?

A. T. Berry Brazelton, MD, of the Brazelton Institute of Children’s  in Boston, Ma. and chair of pediatrics at the crying-baby-family-digest-2000x1117Harvard Medical School, defines four types of cries. The “pain cry” is a short, loud, piercing wail with breaks of breathlessness. The baby will continue to cry even after being picked up. The “hungry cry” is short and incessant. The infant will actively seek the breast. The “fatigue cry” is a soft cry that builds to a loud distress. Finally, the “boredom cry” is a whimper that stops when spoken to.

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