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Why is your baby crying? There’s an app for that


Babies, they’ll smile, laugh and act cute but once they start crying, they’ll only stop once you’ve tended to their needs. What needs? Well according to the people behind the Infant Cries Translator app, it could only one of four things.

Created by a team from the National Taiwan University Hospital of Yunlin, they claim that this app will be able to distinguish the sounds made when a newborn is howling away; telling you why in the process.

How it works is the app will record a 15-second clip of the crying noises, analysis the frequencies of acoustic variation and compare it to an online database. Dr Chen Si-da and Chang Chuan-yu lead the show and they’ve managed to get the app to work 92% of the time, telling those using the app that their baby is either hungry, sleepy, in pain or needs a diaper change.

That 92% has some caveats though, the accuracy of the app diminishes as the baby gets older:

92% accuracy – under two weeks old
85% accuracy – under one to two months
77% accuracy – under four months old

The researchers hypothesise that once the baby reaches six months, it’ll be almost pointless to rely on the app as he/she will be more receptive of the environment around them. And mainly as humans develop, they get more complicated – we can attest to that.

Yet, this could be the app every soon-to-be parents will need when it comes to tending to their babies, especially for first-time parents. Learning as it goes, the Infant Cries Translator, will constantly update its database by taking results from babies around the world and it’ll allow parents to personalise their “results” by adding their own feedback to the learning algorithm.


We’re sure parents reading this now want to know where to get the app:

iOS – US$ 2.99 / RM 13
Android – RM 11.76

The screenshots of the app being used on the two app stores are shown in Mandarin but the Apple App Store lists support in English and Japanese as well.

And don’t expect this app to solve all your problems, it’s just another tool to help identify why your baby is crying. There’s also a probability that cause of tears don’t match the “reason” the app tells you, so a pediatrician or a child psychologist might always be handy.

If everything we mentioned doesn’t work, try this: