If I asked you what concerns new parents most, you’d probably answer with some variation of “their baby crying.”
Why is that? Well, while a baby crying is usually no cause for worry, there are certain instances when you should be concerned. For more, read on…
Signs of baby crying abnormalities
One of the ways you can tell if your baby’s crying is abnormal is if it’s particularly high pitched (it will sound almost as if its reaching the range of a falsetto).
Indeed, research has shown that this kind of this ear-piercing crying is a sign of possible defects in your infant’s nervous system.
It is important to note that the falsetto cry is common in the first few days after birth. If, however, you hear it consistently after that point then that may be cause for concern.
Another sign of abnormal crying is if the crying is particularly consistent. This usually is accompanied by other signs of sickness, like a fever or a cough.
Now that you know about some of the more common signs, what should you do if you think there is something wrong with the way your baby is crying?
First, check all of the basics
If there are no obvious signs of there being something wrong with your baby (besides the crying), the first thing you should do is make a checklist and see if you’ve taken care of all of the basics.
In other words, have you fed them enough?
Is their diaper clean?
Are they too hot or cold? Are they in an uncomfortable position? Is the room too loud for them?
Is their blanket made out of a fabric or material that chafes or otherwise irritates them?
Does it help if you rock them a bit?
Is there a piece of hair wrapped around their toes or fingers, cutting off their circulation (apparently this is called a “hair tourniquet” in the medical world and is fairly common)?
Something that most people might not be aware of is that babies do indeed feel anxiety. So one of the reasons they might be crying is because they are put in a new situation, like a new crib, or are suddenly around people or things that they are unfamiliar with. If you just placed your baby in a new situation and you hear strange cries emanating from them, it might be a result of fear or anxiety, so the best thing you can do is to be near them in order to provide some comfort.
If all of these basic things are covered, and your baby is still crying in a way that you deem to be abnormal, feel free to move onto the next step.
Make an appointment with your pediatrician
If your baby’s crying is persistent, or particularly high-pitched (and you’ve checked all of the basics listed above), then you should try and make an appointment with your pediatrician as soon as possible. Most of the time there shouldn’t be cause for too much worry, but if you notice any other obvious signs of sickness accompanying your baby’s crying (like vomiting, fever, or rashes), definitely think of taking them to Urgent Care.
I should stress at this point that it’s important to realize that nearly all cases of a baby crying are related to things that do not require urgent medical attention. Most of the time, it should be relatively obvious if your baby has to go see the doctor. Indeed, an abnormal cry will just be one of what will likely be several clues telling you that something is going wrong.
But, that being said, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. You, as the parent, know best. If your baby has been crying one way for a while, and then suddenly switches things up without any other noticeable changes in their health, I encourage you to consult with your pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns.
Featured photo credit: Shots Today/Nathan LeClair via flic.kr