Parents of precious little babies know the exhaustion and frustration of trying to understand what their infants are telling them. Now it’s easier than ever to understand when our babies talk.
Before I go any further, have you seen this story about a parent putting their baby to sleep at a friends house and what happened as a result? I think all moms and dad and grandparents need to read it.
So here’s why I’m writing this blog post. Whether you have a baby on the way or there is one sleeping in the room next to you right now, you’re tired.
I don’t think I’m going too far out on a limb here. Has there ever been a mom or dad who isn’t at one time or another worn completely out from taking care of their baby? There is a special place in Heaven for parents of babies. I think it might be a giant bed.
What you’re about to read will help you in ways you won’t believe. I love learning about ways for parents to make their lives better and easier. I believe understanding what your baby is telling you can help in a very big way. It’s an important tool to have in your parenting bag of tricks.
Babies Talk! Here’s What They’re Saying.
Babies can’t tell you how they’re feeling with words. But, they are great at showing you with their actions, voices, and cries exactly what they need and want. It’s the brilliance of nature in action.
I love the way Psychology Today puts it. “…babies speak an ancient language – and adults have adapted and relied more heavily on verbal indicators, paying less attention to the non-verbal ways in which we communicate.”
Understand Baby Body Language
Here are some things to look for in the way your baby moves.
1. He arches his back. Baby is upset, tired, or plain mad. If it happens when you’re feeding, visit your pediatrician as it could be GERD or an ear infection.
I immediately go back in time to seeing one of my kids arch their backs and scrunch up their faces when they were breastfeeding. They’d eat a little and then arch and cry. Eat a little, then arch and cry. Over and over it went.
Sometimes that little tense body was aggravated. In my case anyway, it was almost always an ear infection.
2. Baby sometimes tugs, scratches or pulls at his ears. It can be a sign of teething or an earache or could be that he simply wants to know what his ears feel like. Additionally, babies often comfort themselves by pulling on their ears. Look at the entire scenario to uncover what’s happening with your baby.
If you think it’s teething, very gently rub your (clean) finger over his little gums. You’ll be able to feel the little bump or slight feel of teeth trying to push through the gum.
Give them something cool to chew on, like a teething ring.
3. Kicking his little legs in the air. If there are lots of smiles and wide eyes, that’s a joy-filled, excited baby!
But, if he’s frowning and fussy when kicking his legs in the air, something is making him unhappy. Make sure he’s burped and there are no little gas bubbles that hurt his tummy.
4. The baby turns away from you. He is letting you know it’s time to do something different because he is disinterested or overstimulated.
Understand Baby Crying Sounds
Babies talk using their grunts and cries as well as their movements. It’s a very cool thing to learn about, so I really encourage you to read the following.
Dunstan Baby Language. For my money, this is one of the most thrilling bits of information a new parent can hope for.
More than 20 years ago a mom named Priscilla Dunstan brought home her baby Tomas. You see, since Patricia was a little girl, she exhibited a photographic memory for sound. She was able to hear sound patterns that others didn’t and remember them perfectly.
When she listened to her new baby’s crying patterns, she heard repeated sounds that she knew were important to explore.
Before long she had established a distinct pattern. Her baby was telling her, in the sounds of his cries, what was going on. After studying over 1,000 babies, she knew she’d found the key to communication between parents and babies.
This is by far one of the most fascinating chunks of data I can imagine for parents of an infant. I so wish this information had been available to me when I had babies. It would have been so helpful.
Babies make sounds that are very distinct, she says, and if you pay attention you’ll hear what she heard and you’ll be amazed at how “right on” the Dunstan Baby Language has proved to be.
There are 5 distinct sounds a baby makes before the crying actually begins. You’ll hear the “pre-cry” differences very clearly once they are pointed out to you.
“Neh” – I’m hungry.
“Owh” – I’m tired.
“Eh” – I need to be burped.
“Eairh” – I’m gassy.
“Heh” – Baby is telling you something isn’t okay.
Maybe they need a clean diaper. Frequently though it can mean they are cold or hot. When babies talk using that sound, it’s time to be a parent detective and figure out what’s going on.
It’s super hard to “get” these sounds in the written form. Definitely go to YouTube and listen to Priscilla explain on The Oprah Show. Warning: this is awesome.
Tell us about your experience with “baby language.”
Have you noticed patterns in your baby’s behavior that alerts you to what’s going on with them? We would love to hear your stories about caring for your babies. What have you learned that other moms would KILL to know?