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Your baby's cry is the only means of communication he has.

Crying is the only way that your baby can communicate its needs during the first months of his/her life. But trying to understand what each different cry means can be extremely frustrating and distressing. A cry can mean your baby is wet, tired, hungry, lonely, uncomfortable or simply exercising his/her vocal chords.

Over time you will learn to understand more about your baby's behaviour, his/her routine and what the cries mean, but sometimes getting to that point can be a very difficult process.

If you find that you are not able to settle into a routine or that you are wearing yourself out with sleepless nights, get some help. In every other aspect of our lives, we accept that training and education is a good thing, yet when it comes to parenting, so many people assume that they should somehow have some innate parenting skill that will magically appear once their baby is born. As with everything else in our lives, we need to learn these skills somehow - either by trial and error or by spending time with an expert!

Get help from an organisation such as Karitane or Tresllian , both of whom specialise in teaching mothers how to cope with a number of the problems experienced with new babies, including crying, sleeping and feeding problems. 

You can also contact your local baby health clinic, where trained nurses can spend time with you and your baby either at the clinic, or possibly by arranging a home visit.

Buy or borrow some books from the library for more help - Baby Love by Robin Barker is an excellent resource. It contains information on everything you need to know about you new baby, including a chapter on the crying baby. 

Head to the babies forum where you can talk to other mothers about many different issues.