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Decoding Your Baby’s Cries

As a tia (aunt), I’ve always loved the baby cries of my niece and nephews – that’s probably because in my role as tia I only had to love them and could give them back to their parents when confronted with a howling cries. Now that I will have my own child, I’m worried about being able to determine what my baby needs when they cry.

As searched for information that could help me feel prepared for baby, I came across a new app that claims to help you decode baby’s cries – Infant Crying Translator! Also available for Android, aprox. $2.99

According to Reuters, the app creators and researchers claim they can tell you why your baby is crying with up to 92% accuracy by analyzing the frequency of 200,000 recordings of 100 crying newborns. The app developers took into consideration cry pitch and tones to help them make an educated guess of why the baby is crying, either out of hunger, being tired, in pain or needs a diaper change.

How To Use the Infant Cries Translator:

  1. Record 10 seconds of crying

  2. Wait for the app to list one of the four reasons (takes about 15 seconds)

  3. The cry is then uploaded to a Cloud Drive, that way, if the app is wrong, you can tell it so, and, according to its inventors, it will personalize its algorithm to the sound of YOUR individual baby's cries


  • Researchers say the app is more than 90 percent accurate for babies 2 weeks old or younger

  • The app becomes less accurate as baby ages because of baby's increased exposure to environmental factors

  • For babies around one to two months, the app is up to 85 percent accurate

  • For a 4 month-old, it's around 77 percent

  • The app stops working once baby turns 6 months old


There’s no guarantee that it will work all the time (or even some of the time), and you might be surprised at how quickly you'll learn to decode why your baby's crying on your own. Here are some reasons why your baby will cry according to :

  1. Hungry, a rhythmic, repetitive cry combined with sucking and looking for a breast

  2. Pain, an ear-piercing, panicked cry that sounds distinct from baby's usual crying

  3. Tired or uncomfortable, a nasal, continuous cry that builds in intensity

  4. Stressed out, a fussy, whiny cry combined with turning away from lights or sounds

  5. Bored, a cry that starts out as coos but building into screaming when baby doesn't get attention

  6. Colic, intense screams combined with fidgeting

  7. Sick, soft, weak whimpers with a nasal sound and a lower-pitched cry

Most likely nature will kick in and you will be able to decode your own baby’s cries and needs – at least that’s what I’m hoping – but it’s never a bad idea to have additional help either from family, friends or technology!

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