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Can You Tell What Your Baby Needs From His Cry?

It’s not possible for parents to determine exactly what a baby needs every time he is crying, says Dr. Parnell Donahue, a Brentwood, Tennessee-based pediatrician. Babies may kick their legs, arch their bellies and turn red in the face when crying, but these actions do not indicate specifically what your child needs. He may cry when he is hungry and ready for a feeding, but tell-tale signs such as rooting for a bottle or breast typically accompany these cries, says Donahue. Your child may also be suffering with colic or cry simply as a means to hear his voice. Parents should experiment with strategies to comfort a crying baby, such as checking for needed diaper changes, burping regularly to relieve gas and providing skin-to-skin contact.

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