For your newborn, crying is about the only means of communication he has with you. It will also take some time for you as mommy to learn how to identify your baby's different needs. For example a high-pitched screaming cry may denote he is hungry while a whimpering staccato cry might mean a nappy change or that he is cold.
Other reasons why your newborn may be crying include sleepiness, pain or illness or the want of love and attention. Your baby's crying patterns may also just be a part of his developmental stage. Use this chart as a guide to your baby's general mood patterns over his first year.
Adapted from: Why they cry- understanding child development in the first year, Hetty van de Rijt and Frans Plooi, Harper Collins 1996.