They say that when you become a parent, you just "know" what your baby needs. But it's not always that easy. Whether you're wondering why your baby won't eat or trying to figure out what does your baby's whimpering mean, it can be hard to make the call. That last one especially. I mean, crying babies? You can go through your arsenal of magic tricks to figure that out — feed them, change them, hold them. But whimpering? It can be scary and worrisome, but it can also be baffling and frustrating. Your little one has a clean diaper and is recently fed, but they're still giving a whimper every few minutes and you're officially worried something's wrong.
OK. Don't panic. (That's the first thing you should know about babies.) Whimpering is totally normal and it could mean a couple of things for your baby. Parenting noted that it's really important to remember that babies cry — a lot. It's pretty much their only method of communicating in those early weeks, so try not to freak out every time they open their mouth to wail. And if your baby is whimpering, it could be one of these three reasons. Trust me, the world won't end, and soon you'll be able to figure out what your baby needs without a deciphering code. (Until they're tweens, then it's a total toss-up again.)
1. They Are Sleepy
A no-brainer, right? But sleepy cries aren't usually loud wails. According to The Baby Sleep Site, when your baby is overtired, they often give whimpers and light fussing. Eventually, if not put to sleep, the whimpering can become an inconsolable cry, but it usually doesn't start that way.
2. They Are Bored Or Overstimulated
If your baby seems to be making their whimpering noises while sitting alone in the bouncy seat or when you've spent ten minutes waving a toy in their face, they could be bored or overstimulated according to Parents. Depending on which it is, that whimpering could turn to laughter or shrieking, so keep an open mind when your little one's whimpers escalate into something bigger — they might need some down time or for you to sit and interact with them.
3. They Might Not Be Feeling Well
I am a grown woman and I have been known to whimper when I'm not feeling well. Apparently, so do babies. The Bump noted that if the whimpers are periodic and soft, your little one might not be feeling so hot. Check them for a fever or see if their tummy is bothering them and then make a call to the doctor if necessary. Check for other signs of comfort, too. What to Expect suggested that a baby may whimper if feeling too hot, too cold, or if they need another diaper change.