Motherhood is one of the most beautiful experiences in the world. Giving birth to a cute little baby, nurturing it and growing it into a good person is a tough but amazing job. As a new mother you face a bunch of challenges. But one of them takes the most credit, i.e., understanding the language of a newborn. Most of the time it’s guess work, others are with the help of your mother or after trying everything your baby could possibly want.
Understanding the needs of your baby, when they can’t speak for themselves takes up loads of energy. It sometimes even leaves you all irritated and overwhelmed. This guide to baby cues highlights the most basics of the needs of a baby. It works on body language and will prove a helping hand to you in this journey of parenthood.
Let’s get started!
- I’m Tired Zzz: Every baby has a different way to tell you that they are tired. The most common cues that indicate a tired baby are:
- Jerky movements
- Staring into distance
- Sucking their fingers
- Losing interest in people and toys
- I’m Hungry: A newborn needs to be fed 2-3 hours throughout the day. The time can vary anywhere between 1-2 hours for a newborn, meanwhile it is 3-4 hours for older babies. When hungry, your baby will:
- Make sucking noises
- Turn towards the breasts
- Suck on their thumb
- Cry (if not responded to quickly)
- I’m full: As important as it is to know when your baby needs food, it is also crucial that you understand when your baby is full. Here is how they will react when full
- Pushing away the feeding bottle
- Slowing down or stop sucking
- Turning their head away from food
- Arching their back
- Relaxing and falling asleep
- I want to play: Playful babies are the happiest of all. When your baby gets in that playful mood you will recognize it immediately. Here’s what they will do
- Lots of smiles and giggles
- Wide and bright eyes
- Lots of eye contacts
- Smooth movements
- Reaching towards you
- I need a break! After being all playful and active, there are high chances that your little bundle of joy gets tired and would want to rest a bit. They might not just sleep yet but may want to lay down a little. This is how they will react
- squirming and kicking
- Turning away from you
- Not showing interest in toys
- I’m distressed: Just like adults, babies need affection and attention. In fact, babies want more comfort, care and love. If your baby feels sad, this is how they will react:
- Being clingy and demanding attention
- Being red in the face
- Making sounds to complain like, babbling
- Jerky movements
Listed above were some most common baby cues. A baby’s life is simple. They wake up, eat, play and then go back to sleep. Just like us adults, babies react differently in different situations. Understanding these cues might be a little difficult in the beginning, but as you and your baby will get to know each other, it will become really easy.
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If you have any more baby cues to add to the list, feel free to comment them down below.