When a baby is very young, his parents tend to fear a lot about the well-being and health of the baby. They try to guess exactly what the baby wants and what may be causing discomfort. But how do you understand babies without words? Experts describe three main methods that can help babies communicate with adults.
Although all parents learn to understand and interpret their baby’s individual signs, at Craft Side we are interested in some common rules that are used to distinguish their needs.
The way they cry
Crying is the main way to express the baby’s needs during the first 4 months of life. But how can parents understand if the baby is crying because of hunger, pain or something else?
A shout of call.
The baby has been alone for a long time and now they want their parents to look for them. They cry continuously for 5 to 6 seconds and stop for 20 seconds as if waiting for the results. If the parents do not respond, this cycle will be repeated several times until the crying becomes continuous.
A cry for hunger.
You can start with a cry of call, but if the baby has not been caught and fed, the crying will continue and become hysterical. The baby can also keep turning his head, making popping sounds with his mouth.
A cry for the pain.
This shout will be monotonous, strong and constant. Periodically, there will be hysterical outbursts that indicate that the pain increases. However, if the baby becomes ill, crying can also be monotonous but silent because he is not strong enough to make loud noises.
A cry for physiological processes.
Even gas, urination or defecation can initially cause discomfort in a child. This type of crying resembles whining and wheezing.
A cry for sleepiness.
When the baby wants to sleep but cannot fall asleep for some reason, his crying sounds like an offended and soft groan, followed by a yawn. The baby will also rub his eyes and ears.
A shout for discomfort.
This crying is angry and intermittent and is usually accompanied by restlessness. The baby can also shake and bow. This means that it is time to check the diaper or they can be very cold or very hot in your clothes.
Also, very young babies may cry when they want to change their environment or when they are frustrated or bored.
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The sounds they make
Australian pediatrician Priscilla Dunstan has been studying and investigating early childhood sounds (up to 3-4 months) for more than 20 years. Thousands of babies of different nationalities participated in their experiments.
Priscilla thinks that the primary reflex sounds are international. After 4 months, babies begin to emit sounds that seek communication that is more related to their physical needs.
Priscilla opened her own school teaching new parents to understand their babies. It is believed that the ability to recognize these sounds in time prevents a future episode of crying.
The “dictionary” of the main sounds includes:
‘Neh’ – “I’m hungry!”
This sound is produced when the baby pushes his tongue towards the palate and is activated by the sucking reflex.
‘Eh’ – “I will burp!”
This sound is formed when excess air begins to escape from the baby’s esophagus and he tries to release it by reflex of the mouth.
‘Owh’ – “I’m sleepy or I’m tired!”
The baby makes this “tired sound” by folding his lips before yawning.
‘Heh’ – “I feel uncomfortable!”
Unpleasant tactile sensations cause the baby to move and shake hands and feet. All these movements contribute to the ‘Heh’ sound, especially when the baby’s mouth is slightly open.
‘Eairh’ – I have gas and a tummy ache!
The sounds they emit are distorted and become moans when a baby stretches its belly and exhales while trying to get rid of the pain.
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The movements they make
Body language says a lot about the well-being of a baby:
Babies under 2 months usually make this movement when they respond to pain and cramping. If a baby arches his back after eating, it is full. You often see your baby doing this movement during a meal, it can be a sign of reflux. If the baby is older than 2 months, this movement usually indicates tiredness and bad mood.
This is a relaxing movement for the baby. They can do this before falling asleep or when surrounded by strangers.
Grabbing your ears
In most cases, this movement shows that the baby is only exploring his body. You should consult your doctor only if this movement is followed by crying and is repeated frequently.
This is a sign of hunger. If you can see it on time, you can avoid the crying caused by your hunger.
This is the sign of colic and belly pain. The baby is trying to relieve pain painfully.
Jerking their arms.
This movement means that the baby was scared. A loud sound, a strong light or a sudden awakening can cause the startle reflex. In this case, the baby needs to be comforted.
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Pediatricians recommend talking to your baby as soon as possible, explaining and showing everything in your environment, even if it seems they still don’t understand anything. This will help them begin to communicate quickly with their loved ones using individual sounds and gestures, and it will also help them develop better. We wish them the best of luck and hope that it is easy for them to understand each other!
Is there anything you would like to add to this list? We would love to hear from you in the comments!