18 Signs That Could Help You to Understand Your Baby Before They Can Speak


Parents are always frustrated trying to understand what their baby is trying to say and what it wants before it can speak. Communication can be difficult and even impossible between the parent and the baby before they come of age that they can speak.

However, there are ways to figure out what the baby wants or needs. Babies give many signs aside from laughter and crying that can help the parents understand what the baby is trying to convey.

Many parents assume what the baby’s sounds, gestures, and cries mean but they are usually wrong. There are helpful methods to get that assumption and make it a complete translation.

Pricilla Dustan from Australia appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show in November 2006 to show her ‘Dustan Baby Language’ theory, however, this theory hasn’t been scientifically proven yet. Even though many scientists are skeptical of the theory, parents that follow these methods can see that most of the time they are right.

Here are the methods that you can observe on the baby:
  1. The Way The Baby Cries:
  • Sleepy Cry

 – Everyone gets whiny when they are tired. Babies are no different. When they want to sleep and can’t, their cry will sound whiny and will rub their eyes and/or ears.

  • Hunger Cry

– Even though this may start off as a calling cry if the baby is not fed or answered it might become a hysteria. If the baby is rotating their head and making smacking sounds with their mouth, it means that they are hungry.

  • Pain Cry

– This cry is louder and more constant than any of the other cries. When the baby is in more pain, the more hysterical its cries will be. If the baby exhausts itself from crying, its cry will become quiet and tiresome.

  • Discomfort Cry

 – When the baby is too cold, too hot, or needs their diaper changed, their cry will be intermitted and irritated. They may squirm uncontrollably or flail and arch their bodies.

  • Calling Cry

 – When the baby is crying around 5-6 times, then stopping, and then continuing to cry after 20 seconds have passed, it is most likely that the baby wants someone to come and pick them up. If no one comes to pick them up, this cycle of cries will continue.

  • Psychological Cry

– This cry is whiny and squeaky and it is due to the discomfort the baby is feeling from bloating, gas, urination, or defecation.

  • Environmental Cry

 – This cry can be a reason for a couple of different things. However, if the baby is just bored or is unhappy with the place they are, they will convey their frustrations and cry.

  1. The Way They Move:
  • Back Arching

– This movement is when babies are experiencing colic or pain and it is specific for babies under 2 months old. When the movement is done after they eat, this means that they are full. However, if the baby does this movement in the process of eating, it may be the cause of reflux. Additionally, if a baby that is older than 2 months does this movement, it is likely that they are tired.

  • Fist Clenching

 – Babies usually clench their fists when they are hungry. If you notice the clenching of fists at the beginning, you will save yourself from the outburst cries that the baby will convey.

  • Ear Grabbing

– Ear grabbing usually shows that the baby is exploring its features, unless they are continuously touching their ears. If this movement is persistent, it will be best to consult your pediatrician.

  • Arm Jerking

– This motion is when the baby is startled by bright lights, loud noises, or sudden awakening. It simply means that the baby got frightened.

  • Head Rotation

– This movement for most babies is a calming movement. They will rotate their head if they are going to fall asleep or are trying to calm themselves.

  • Leg Lifting

 – This movement signifies colic and tummy pain. With this motion, babies try to ease their pain.

  1. Common Sounds Babies Make
  • ‘Eh’

– This sound is released by the baby before they burp as excess air starts to go up from their esophagus.

  • ‘Neh’

– Babies can use this sound by pushing their tongues up to the roof of their mouth, signaling that they want to eat. This sound is also initiated by the sucking reflex.

  • ‘Owh’

– Babies use this sound to indicate that they are sleepy and tired by folding their lips before yawning, simultaneously making this sound.

  • ‘Eairh’

 – This is the sound a baby makes when they feel uncomfortable of pain from bloating or gas. They make this sound as they try to exhale to ease the irritations.

  • ‘Heh’

– Babies show discomfort by using this sound. Additionally, they will also move their hands and feet with this sound if they feel uncomfortable or have any displeasing sensations.

These movements, sounds, and cries are not that easy to recognize. However, the methods can be really helpful once you understand what exactly they look like. By using these methods, you will get to know exactly what your baby tries to communicate before they grow up and speak.



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