App Helps Moms Understand Baby’s Cries

Do you understand what your baby is crying about? Figure it out using an app from Taiwanese researchers.

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Are you having a tough time figuring out what your baby’s crying sound means? Now, you don’t have to struggle as much in understanding what your baby is trying to say with an app.

The app, called the Infant Cries Translator, came into being, thanks to Taiwanese researchers at the National Taiwan University Hospital Yunlin. It can distinguish four different types of crying sounds. It records the baby’s sounds and compares them against a database of crying sounds.

The researchers spent more than two years gathering and recording almost 200,000 crying sounds from around 100 newborns. They also uploaded the sounds to an online database. The investigators, led by Dr. Chen Si-da and Chang Chuan-yu, also analyzed the individual screams of the babies, allowing them to spot subtle differences among them.

The app is easy to use, which is particularly beneficial for new parents. It only takes about 15 seconds for it to give you the interpretation of the baby’s crying sounds on your smartphone. According to the researchers, the app is about 92 percent efficient when used on babies under two weeks old. It can help parents identify four different conditions – whether the baby is sleepy, hungry, in pain, or crying because of a wet diaper. The accuracy is expected to lessen as the baby grows older. It reduces to around 84 to 85 percent when used on one- or two-month-old babies, and down to 77 percent when used on four-month-olds.

The app developers do not recommend using the app once the babies reach six months old, though, because by then they have become influenced by their environment. However, they believe the app will help new parents in taking care of their first child.

The database for the app is constantly updated. And parents can set up their baby’s personal setting.

One of the researchers, pediatrician Chen, said that the app is a useful tool for parents to figure out what’s happening with their crying baby. It gives a good input to the other cues the baby is showing, such as his sucking reflex that indicates he’s hungry.

The app can be downloaded to Android and iOS devices via Google Play and App Store, respectively, for $2.99. It has been available since early 2015.

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