If you’re a new mom, understanding your baby won’t be so easy. Your best bet is to learn baby body language to decode your youngster.
I remember being a new mom, and boy did I panic on many occasions. I had no idea half the time what my baby wanted or needed. The only reason I could decode a small bit of baby body language is that I read a few books while pregnant. Unfortunately, those books old books didn’t tell me everything and my son gave me a few surprises.
Practice makes….well, almost perfect
Fortunately, I am three kids in and basically know most of the cues. I do guarantee, although, that by the time my grandchildren get here, I will need a refresher. And, not all babies are the same babies show body language differently from infant to infant. It has much to do with the different genes involved.
So, let’s explore the main cues we know now
1. Bright, wide eyes
If your baby has is suddenly showcasing his wide bright eyes, he is usually in the playing mood. This isn’t 100% true for all infants, you know because sometimes they are using the bathroom. These cues can be really close. However, if your baby is smiling too, then yeah, playing is probably what he wants to do. If you start a game of peek-a-boo or such and you get a giggle, then you’ve guessed the right cue. Good job!
2. Fussy, rubbing eyes, and loss of interest in toys
When this combination of cues is present, there is usually one thing going on. Your baby is probably really tired and sleepy. When she gets like this, don’t try to rouse her for play just to spend time with her. That’s just selfish. Let these cues take their course, do your best to help her get to sleep, and then enjoy some quiet time for yourself.
3. Turning head away
If your baby is turning his head away, this usually means disinterest. For instance, if you have a teddy bear in front of your child, singing and shaking the toy, and they turn away, you should give it a rest. I know it would be irritating if I had something shoved in my face that just wouldn’t go away.
Yes, toys are fun, but to an infant, they can become overwhelming extremely fast. If the baby doesn’t like what you’re doing, just stop. They may be more interested in another occasion.
4. Back arches
Well, apparently, you haven’t put that irritating little bear away yet, and you’ve gone and done it…you’ve gone too far. Your baby is at the adult level of furious. They are moments away from crying.
Now, there are other reasons a baby will arch its back too. If she strapped in a car seat with a dirty diaper, she will arch her back, if he is trying to turn over and can’t seem to pull it off, he will arch his back and then sometimes scream. Either way, the arching of the back means extreme irritation, and attention is needed immediately.
5. Chewing fists, sticking out tongue, or rooting
Now, these cues depend a bit on whether you bottle feed or breastfeed. If your baby is chewing on his fists or sticking out his tongue, he is hungry. This is the early stages of hunger, so it’s best to notice this before it gets worse.
If you breastfeed, and you’re holding your baby, she will start “rooting”. This motion is when your baby presses her face against your chest and tries to find the source of her food. It includes moving her mouth, sniffing and moving her face back and forth. These should be clear indications that it’s feeding time.
Add screaming to the list above, and you will have a baby that’s gone too long without nourishment. This screaming will only get worse until he is fed and then maybe even during the feeding, which could cause choking. It’s important to recognize hunger symptoms before the screaming begins.
6. Bending legs toward his tummy
If your infant is bending his legs toward his tummy, he is most likely in some sort of pain. A lot of times, babies get colic, or air in their stomachs, also known as a horrible case of gas. This cue may be accompanied by screaming, but can sometimes be so painful that they can barely scream at all.
The best thing to do is gently pick her up, placing her over your shoulder and patting her back. This usually causes your baby to burp and release the excess gas. Remember to use a burping cloth because this gas buildup generally results in spit-up when the gas is released. Baby language is so important when it comes to conditions of his body like this.
Learning the body language of your baby
Isn’t it great that we can learn to decipher this strange baby cues by paying attention to body language? For us veteran mothers, we know a bit and sharing this information feels like really being a help to new mothers. So, don’t panic, just do some research and learn what all these little movements and quirks mean.
After a while, you will become a great mother, able to be there when your baby needs you and understand what they want, how they feel, and even when they’re ready to play.
And that is the best part.