Many parents wish babies came with a manual. And while every baby is different, there are some similarities that can help parents decode the universal language of babies. While many parents worry when their babies cry, it’s actually the best and only way they can communicate with you to let you know they need attention so try not to feel stressed when you hear baby crying. Instead listen to for these sound and syllables of the cry, and you will become adept at deciphering their cries in no time. Once you figure out what they are crying about, you can begin the process of helping them deal with the issue.

Elina Furman is the creator of the Kahlmi Massage Wand and has this advice for befuddled for parents.

The 5 Baby Cries and What They Are Trying to Tell You

1. NEH - “Neh” is the sound baby makes when they are hungry. The sound is created when baby’s tongue touches the roof of their mouth which creates a sucking reflex. This is a great way to detect if your baby is really hungry or just wants to nurse for comfort reasons. You’ll want to watch for hunger cues so your baby doesn’t get over hungry. Hunger cues include putting hands in mouth and a clenched fist. Obviously, if baby has just eaten and is making this sound, make sure to check their growth and weight milestones to make sure they are getting enough milk/formula.              

SOLUTION: When you hear this, prepare to feed your baby.

2. OWH - The “OWH” sound is usually long and drawn out and can mean baby is overstimulated and sleepy. Kind of sounds like a long “Ouch” without the “ch” with baby’s mouth forming an oval shape. Babies often exceed their wake window times and then get overtired and produce this sound. While you don’t want to wait too long to get baby to sleep, finding a wake sleep chart for your baby’s age can help you figure out when it’s time to get baby to bed so they don’t get overtired.

SOLUTION: Find a quiet, dimly lit room and go through a very quick wind down routine and place baby in crib right away. If you’re away from home, try rocking baby back and forth in their stroller or user your Kahlmi wand to soothe and relax them.

3. HEH - The “Heh” sound is short much like “Neh,” so it can be confusing at times to decipher. But this sound is a clear indication that baby is uncomfortable. Whether the diaper is too tight or wet, the room is too cold, if baby has a rash, teething, or if baby is laying in a bad position, this sounds is a clear indication of discomfort. 

SOLUTION: Take the baby out of the car seat or stroller and check their diaper and temperature of the room. It might take a little extra digging to figure out what is the exact source of discomfort, but sometimes all baby needs is a little extra snuggle or a quick foot massage.

4. EAIR - “EAIR” sounds like a long “Air” sound it’s usually because of digestive discomfort in the lower abdomen. Babies with colic usually make this sound and it can have a piercing quality which stresses parents.

SOLUTION: You can help baby by massaging their belly or feet which quickly relieves any digestive discomfort. Another solution is to stretch and wiggle baby’s hips to help them relieve any discomfort. For an added benefit, use the Kahlmi massage wand as the vibrations help release gas bubbles

5. EH - The “EH” sound is a clear indication that baby has gas trapped in their upper abdomen. The sound is produced because baby is trying to push out air from their chest. 

SOLUTION: Practice burping baby and feed them slowly, taking frequent breaks between feeding to burp them. You can also experiment with different holds, such as the football hold where you apply pressure to their belly while gently thumping their back. Another technique is to always burp upward rather than down the back, as you want to help the gas come out of their chest and out their mouth.

The more you practice listening for the sounds and syllables of your baby’s crying, the quicker you will learn to communicate with your child. There are many ways to calm your baby including massaging, feeding them, changing their diaper, giving them a pacifier, or letting gentle vibrations calm them. If your baby doesn’t stop crying for hours, it could be a sign of baby colic or that your baby needs medical attention. Even a simple cold can lead to congestion and a grumpy, crying baby so try not to stress too much but always be alert and listen for the sounds so you can understand your baby better.

To start your baby massage journey, order the award-winning, pediatrician recommended Kahlmi massage wand today.