I have used the below sounds to help identify why my own baby is crying and must say that they are spot on! Learning to distinguish these five sounds is key for new mothers like me, or might be revolutionary to experienced ones.
Here are the five sounds:
Neh – The “neh” sound in the secret language of newborn basics means “I’m hungry”. Apparently as a baby’s sucking reflex kicks in and the tongue is pushed to the roof of the mouth the sound that comes out is a “neh” sound.
Owh – The “owh” sound is made in the reflex of a yawn which means, yep, you guessed it, “I’m sleepy”. I've found this is more of a short whine than a cry.
Heh – the “heh” sounds (similar to “neh” so be careful that you hear the beginning /h/ sound) means discomfort. This particular one of the newborn cries is to let you know that the baby is uncomfortable – cold, itchy, need a new diaper, need a new position in which to lie, I'm bored, etc.
Eair – The “eair” sound means lower gas. It’s a deeper sound that comes from the abdomen. The "air" part of this sound is not actually made by voice, but comes from the sound of the baby releasing its breath after making the "e" sound. It is a bit more difficult to distinguish than the rest but is usually accompanied by a newborn pulling his/her knees up or pushing down and out with his/her legs. Baby’s body, not only his/her face, will look uncomfortable.
Eh – The “eh” sound means that a baby needs to burp. It is similar, again, to “neh” and “heh” but remember that you are listening for those beginning sounds, not the ending sounds. When you hear, “Eh, ehhhhh” your newborn is telling you “Burp me, please”.