“What is my baby trying to tell me?”
If only your baby came with a dictionary! But it doesn’t, and a large part of the early months (and years) is spent trying to work out what your baby is saying.
Your baby will coo, laugh and babble. These are the times that will melt your heart and you can encourage more of them by
Encourage baby to communicate with baby
- Talking back: have a real conversation with pauses to allow your baby to respond
- Imitating: show that you’re listening
- Using lots of eye contact and animated facial expressions: your face is the favourite thing for your baby to look at
- Having a physical connection: studies have shown that more of your loving message gets through if you are touching your baby
Of course, your baby will also cry. It can be tough, but you must remember that it is just another form of communication. Your baby may cry for physical reasons (eg. hungry, tired, uncomfortable) or emotional reasons (eg. bored, stressed, needs to unwind after a big day).
Tips for when your baby is crying and you don’t know why:
- Relax. This is very difficult as our natural reaction is often to tense up as we frantically try to stop our baby from crying.
- Clear your thoughts so you can really listen to your baby.
- Keep connected. Touch or hold your baby, and if possible make eye-to-eye contact.
These tips let your baby know that you are there for them and listening. They can safely say what they need to say, and then they are ready to be comforted by you.
Look out also for non-verbal cues, like facial expressions and body language. Each baby’s cues are different. Time spent with your baby, especially through the focussed interaction and physical connection you share during an activity like baby massage, helps you learn your baby’s beautiful and unique language.