Babies and their body language
Baby and toddler behaviour can delight, amuse, frustrate and confuse you. Each different stage brings new behaviour to make sense of.
Taking the time to understand your child’s behaviour is the best way to tune into their feelings and help them find positive ways to tell you what they need.
At about two months old, your baby will start to coo at you, and later they will develop other sounds to try to tell you things. If you respond by smiling and talking, you’ll encourage more interaction. This shared experience will also strengthen your relationship with your child.
As your child gets older, your baby will stay awake for longer and start to explore the world through play. Your baby will still cry to communicate, but he or she also learn to tell you what he or she needs using body language. Your baby will give you signs, or cues.
When your baby says ‘I’m tired’
- rub eyes or yawn
- make jerky movements with arms and legs
- turn away from you or throw toys
When your baby says ‘I’m hungry’
he or she might:
- make sucking noises
- turn with an open mouth towards your chest (if he’s younger), or towards his spoon when you’re feeding him solids. And he’ll turn his head away, or push away the spoon when he’s full
When your baby says ‘I want to play’
- look at your face and make eye contact
- coo and babble
- reach towards you
When your baby says ‘I need a break’
- look away, or turn her head away
- squirm or kick
Responding to baby’s cues will help him or her feel secure and probably result in less crying overall. For example, if you give your baby some quiet time when you sense he or she has had enough play, your baby won’t need to cry to get the message across!
For part one in the series, click here.
For part three in the series, click here.
This article was published courtesy of the Raising Children Network.