Babies express themselves from the time they are born: smiling, crying, waving arms and legs up in the air. And in just a few weeks these little ones will refine their "language" some more so that you may understand what they want and what they are feeling. Soon, parents discover with surprise and happiness that their newborn baby is communicating with them!
A SHORT COURSE IN INTERPRETING BABY'S VOCABULARY
Smiles that mean so much…
Baby smiles, not only to show you he is happy but also to tell you different messages. Yes, maniwala ka o hindi, your chikiting is actually talking to you! There are different types of smiles:
- REFLEX SMILE which is natural in newborn babies: it occurs when baby falls asleep after a nice bottle for instance... It is a reflex expressing physical well-being but it no doubt makes you melt!
- SMILE WITH EYES TWINKLING says joy and appreciation. It's as if your baby was telling you "Thank you, Mommy, for looking after me, I love it!".
- SMILE WITH HANDS CLAPPING means "I know you and like being with you”
Why does my baby cry?
For babies, crying is a language in itself. Kaya naman, you should let your baby express themselves as he is trying to tell you something really important. Listen to your baby…
- When your baby’s cries turn into shrill shrieking, it means he is hungry!
- When your baby makes low short grunts, he wants to sleep na.
- If your baby starts crying suddenly in a piercing high-pitched tone, almost making “tili”…then he is more than likely in pain. Check out what’s wrong with him, pronto!
- When your baby cries hard and becomes red in the face, he is getting angry. Take him away from who or what is stressing him.
- If your baby cries non-stop at the end of the day, he is probably just tired and making sumpong after a long day. It’s okay, he just needs a cuddle and quiet time. These episodes help baby adjust to a regular sleep-waking cycle and to unload all the emotions he gathered throughout the day.
Gestures full of meaning
As of 6 - 8 months, your baby will begin to use little hand actions and facial expressions to make himself understood.
- Hiding his face behind his hands means he wants your attention.
- Rubbing his eyes tells you he is tired.
- Pointing with his finger to "ask for something".
- Reaching out both his arms says he wants you to carry him.
These little gestures become more frequent and complex, forming a unique language between the two of you. It is his way of speaking even before learning a verbal language.
This kind of communication is used widely in English-speaking countries, notably in daycare nurseries. Based on the simple principle that each word is associated with a sign, it is called "baby sign language". For example - to mean "silence" the pointing finger is placed sideways on the lips; to say yummy, we rub the tummy, etc. These are easy baby sign language games that you can play with your little child, ‘di ba? Try it --- enjoy watching him learn slowly but surely how to use verbal language in a fun way!