Communication with your newborn begins from the very first cuddle when you look, touch and smell each other.
A newborns’ main way of communicating is crying. This evolves rapidly over the next few weeks and months and you begin to understand each cry. Do not feel guilty responding to the crying as contrary to some peoples’ beliefs, you cannot spoil a newborn baby. He or she is crying to tell you they have a need.
Getting to know your baby occurs over time as you spend time focusing on your baby. Watching and wondering.
Understanding each other will enhance your bond and make for a more rewarding parenting experience.
Often parents find it tricky to distinguish what it is a baby needs when they cry however there are subtle little changes you may notice, even before the crying begins. However do not feel guilty if your baby continues to cry despite all your efforts: sometimes healthy babies just cry for no apparent reason.
In many cases crying is the last line of communication from your baby. He/she may have given you many subtle cues that they are hungry or tired for example however you have not been tuned in to their communication. Getting back to watching and wondering what they are telling you.
Following is a list of “cues” or subtle signs you can begin to recognize in your baby allowing you to meet his/her needs without the guess work in between:
- Jerky movements
- Rubbing eyes/face
- Red eyebrows
- Dark circles under eyes
- Difficulty focusing-often going cross eyed
- Closed fists
- Looking at your face
- Turning their head towards you
- Smooth arm and leg movements
- Wide, bright eyes
- Bright, open face
- Disengagement cues
- Blank face
- Turning away
- Breaking eye contact
- Kicking and squirming
- Back arching
- Rooting reflex-searching
- Sucking on hand or fist
- Tongue movements
- Clenched fists
“It is through our hands that we speak to the child, That we communicate. Touch is the child’s first language, Understanding comes long after feeling.”