Parenting a newborn is hard. Someone has to be watching the baby at all times. Even so, it is very difficult to predict when the baby is going to be hungry or sleepy. One minute they look really happy and the next, they start crying like the world’s going to end. If you are like most parents – you would try everything possible to figure out why they are crying and the real reason will always be the last thing you think of trying. You can’t blame your baby because crying and flailing their arms and legs is the only way they know they will get what they want. You’re not to blame either because you don’t know how to speak baby babble.
So, to make your job a little easier, here are a couple of baby gestures decoded:
1. Signs your baby is angry
Babies tend to get angry only when they are too tired or hungry. They will squint their eyes and cry till their face turns red. When you try to calm them down by patting them they will push your hand away. The best thing to do here is to hush them down by rocking them gently in your arms and whispering softly. If they just want to rest, their eyes would begin drooping right as you begin rocking them. If they don’t calm down, it means your baby is hungry.
2. Signs your baby is happy
When your baby is happy, it will show on his/her face, body and voice. They will give a giant toothless grin with crinkly eyes and they may even let out cheerful giggles. Encourage this showcase of happiness by playing along. When this happens, set whatever you are doing aside and enjoy the moment – they will feel overjoyed knowing that you are happy too. But beware, babies also tend to get real happy right after they relieved themselves. You know what that means – time for a diaper change!
3. Signs your baby is scared
A scared baby will display similar emotions to when we hear something shocking. They open their eyes wide with mouth partly open. Their hands may tremble too. They cannot control this emotion and may stay stunned for a while or start crying out loud. Babies may get scared when they hear a loud sound or see something unusual. If they start crying after a steel plate fell down, for example, just lift them up and soothe them by telling them that everything is just fine.
4. Signs your baby is hungry
If your baby is hungry, they will show it by moving their head from side to side. They may then start to suck on whatever they find near them – pillow, bedsheet, etc. You can also check by placing your finger near their mouth – they will involuntarily move their mouth towards your finger. When you hold them up, you may find that they will start bending their body and bringing their head down toward your nipple. If your baby is showing any of these signs, feed them right away and don’t wait for them to start crying.
5. Signs your baby is bored
Babies will try to grab your attention in any way they can. They may resort to crying for no apparent reason, throwing things around or yelling at you. Their crying would stop as soon as you start paying them attention or by lifting them up. You can take this as a sure sign that your baby has connected with you and wants to spend more time with you. The way you keep them entertained would change over the course of a few months.
6. Signs your baby is awestruck
Ever found your baby gaping at a random object? Moving towards it, drooling, pointing or yelling at it? This just means she is aware of her surroundings and just discovered this new fantastic object. Although that plastic mug may not look all that fascinating to you, your baby may find it to be the most interesting thing in her world. Encourage her by talking about the mug and showing what it can do!
7. Signs your baby is gassy
When babies experience discomfort, they will start crying with little grunts at the start. They will scrunch up their face and bring their feet up to their chest. You can soothe them by moving their legs in a cyclic motion and gently rubbing their tummy from top to bottom.