Listen to your baby's cues

Listen to your baby's cues

June 01, 2016

Communication is important in every relationship. In every communication, you must be a good listener for that communication to be effective. Communicating with your baby may not be as easy as it is to communicate with an adult. This doesn’t mean babies don’t communicate; babies have their own ways of trying to relate their feelings and desires to you. As a mum, it is important to learn your baby’s sign and body languages to enable you give the best care at all times. Below are some cues you should look out for in your baby and what they probably mean;

Making faces

Missing little frowns, wrinkled foreheads in your baby’s facial expression can be fleeting and easy to miss. You have to watch very closely if you don’t want to miss these cues.

  • Gaze Aversion

A baby who turns his face from you wants to end the eye contact. Babies who are up to two months old can get disconnected whenever they feel stimulated or overwhelmed. Sometimes, the baby may turn his head away stubbornly, play with his fingers or toes, or even cry just to break the eye contact with an adult. When this happens, don’t try to get into your baby’s new line of view, instead wait patiently for the baby to turn his attention back to you.

  • Smiles

A baby’s first ever true smile comes between six and eight weeks. At this early stage, a smile is a sign of physical contentment. Anything can trigger this first smile like the coziness of a warm bath towel after a birth. Smiles soon become more controlled and regular after this stage whenever the baby is around loved ones. It is important to encourage your baby by reacting positively to those first smiles; smile and laugh back at your baby. Tell your baby how terrific he looks-he may not understand the words you speak, but definitely gets the message you are trying to pass across.

Other facial expressions

Between the ages of three and six months, most infants learn to initiate facial expressions like sadness fear, surprise, etc. When a stranger walks in, the baby looks at the mother to register her facial expression. If the mum looks distressed, the baby’s anxiety level increases automatically, this results in clinging or crying. Since your distress affects your baby, always take in deep breaths when you are tensed and smile to relieve the baby’s tension. You can reassure your baby that everything is fine by patting or hugging him. Always hand your baby to someone else or place him in his crib whenever you fell angry or frustrated and pick him up when you calm down.

Body Talk

According to studies, over 90% of communication by both infants and adults are through nonverbal means. Babies make little fists when they become hungry and start feeding. The moment they get filled, their hands relax and are reopened.

Other body languages

Arching his back

From the very first few weeks, babies start arching their backs in discomfort whenever they feel discomforted. When he combines the back arching with crying, it is a good sign he has reflux. When babies feed to their satisfaction, they arch their backs to move away from the breast.  When the baby gets to the fourth or fifth month, it may mean an entirely different thing-perhaps he is trying to roll over for the very first time. 

Rubbing his eye or ears

Researches have shown that babies rub their ears and eyes with their hands when they start feeling tired. Before they get to the sixth month, they will rub their faces against anything when they feel tired or itchy. Start preparing the baby for bedtime or naptime whenever he starts rubbing his ears or eyes. However, if your baby rubs his ears and feels fussy with a temperature as high as 101 degrees, he may have an ear infection. Contact your pediatrician.

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