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The intersection of babies and
technology is growing more congested by the minute. It's no longer enough to
have a baby monitor; you need one with humidity sensors and an animated
rainbow projection system. Sneaking in her room to make sure she's still
breathing? So old school; now you can
put them to sleep on a smart mat
designed to censor her inhalation-exhalation patterns. Don't want to fold up
your stroller? This one has push button self-folding capability, plus an LCD dashboard,
pathway lights for low-light conditions and cell phone charging powers.
But perhaps none have so effectively answered
every desperate new parent's wish list like this one: The Infant Cries
Researchers from the National Taiwan
University Hospital Yunlin designed the smartphone app, which is purportedly
able to distinguish between four common, distinct crying sounds: Hungry, tired,
wet and in pain. It does this using a database of more 200,000 crying sounds,
gathered over the course of two years from nearly 100 newborn infants. Once
you've downloaded the app ($2.99 on iOS at the Apple App Store and
Android devices on Google Play and is currently only available in Chinese), you upload an
audio recording of your crying babe. The technology then compares your kid's
cry to the cries in its database and spits out a result. According to the app's
lead researcher, Chang Chuan-yu, the app boasts a 92 percent accuracy rate.
When you're exhausted and frazzled, "neh" sounds like "meh" and everything sounds like "owh."
There are a litany of reasons for which a newborn
might cry: "I'm hungry"; "I'm lonely"; "I'm tired"; "I need to suck"; etc. The Dunstan Baby Language Philosophy,
created by mom Priscilla Dunstan, centers around the
belief that there are five key types of newborn
means "I'm hungry" while "Owh" means "I'm sleepy.") If that's true, then
perhaps this app could work. I remember reading up on the classic types of
crying while pregnant, but nothing prepared me for the real thing. When you're
exhausted and frazzled, "neh" sounds like "meh" and everything sounds like "owh."
Still, there's something to be said
for getting to know your newborn and learning to decipher her cues on your own.
Your intuition will kick in
-A wailing infant can do a number on
your nerves and patience. No matter what, though, never shake a baby.
Doing so can cause blindness, brain damage, even death. Ask someone for help or, if you're alone, place your baby in the crib for five or 10 minutes, walk
away, regroup and then try again.