MOMI TIPS/  Decoding a baby’s language

Apr 25, 2016 | Only Berlin

Babies are not hard to understand. Because they cannot talk, they cry to communicate their concern: an empty stomach, a wet or dirty diaper, cold feet, or just a need for a cuddle or hug. They also have gestures – cute or otherwise – that have messages on them. Having been blessed to look after three gorgeous boys somehow guides me to read Yael’s gestures and cries.

Our baby boy cues he is hungry when he hand-sucks and opens his tiny lips and turns his head as if catching something to suck.  Sometimes, there appears a number of vertical creases on his forehead.    Seeing him does that, I ready his milk before he cries.

yael wanting milk
The midwife reminded me before leaving the hospital that a baby’s stomach is so small it cannot hold very much milk. It would not take long before it empties, thus, it’s advisable to feed him every two hours, or three hours at the most. This, the kind midwife explained, is called feeding on demand.

To know if our little boy wants more milk, I try to stroke the side of his mouth. If he turns his head and opens his mouth and seeks something to suck, I offer more milk. But if I offered something and he only plays with his tongue, it then indicates he is no longer interested.

Yael gestures “I am wet” when he kicks hard and his cry sounds choppy. Once I remove his pants and diaper, then he will stop from crying and will wait for me to finish cleaning him up. After that, he would give me a sweet thank you smile.

yael with poo poo
Another cute gesture I first learned from my firstborn was the furrowed brows and pouty lips gesture. It only showed I need to change his diaper in a few minutes. My then second son’s poo face was a scrunched face accompanied by funny yet real big eyes movement. Both Yael and Bunso share that same poo face of their kuya firstborn.

yael poo poo
Sometimes, our little boy is banging his legs against the crib mattress and crying up a storm. These gestures imply he wants a little face time with his mama. He must have figured out that banging his legs against the crib mattress would attract my attention. He is certainly right because I would quickly pick him up and swaddle him, not in a blanket, though, but in my arms.

yael wanting attention
When he is in my arms, I gently stroke his eyebrows or forehead. When he drinks milk, I also stroke his back. Research says that touch stimulates receptors in the brain that calm any baby. So I cuddle him a lot. I give him long soothing strokes to help him relax and loosen up.

It is good to recognize our babies’ needs. By being sensitive to their cries and gestures, I believe we could better respond and have a more loving relationship with them.

And just like any moms, I would want to hear from you on how your baby communicates. It’s nice to learn from other mommies, too. It helps me understand my kids more and it’s always refreshing to hear fun stories about kids and babies.  Will wait then for your stories.

* This is our Yael at less than a month old.  He is bigger now at eight months old and super loves to smile a lot.

32 Comments

  1. Neri Ann

    Good for you that you have signs and actions to understand your darling. Me, I was always guessing! I never really remembered anything especially if there are two of them! 🙂

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Riot kapag kambal siguro no. Haha. But double din tanggal pagod.

      Reply
  2. Coi Ibanez

    My little one is already 16 months now, though she can’t speak properly yet, she’s able to give me signs of what she wants, though sometimes I still get confused. Hehe! But the face that I can never forget is her ‘poop-face’ hahaha! I know very well if she’s doing it. Hahaha! 😉

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Hahaha. Very kakaiba talaga ang poop face ng babies and even toddlers.

      Reply
  3. Sarah Tirona

    my mom taught me that stroking the cheek technique too! it really works 🙂

    Reply
  4. kareen liez datoy (@blessedliez)

    It is important for moms to know what message our babies are sending us through their actions. But amazingly, there is indeed a connection between us and the kids and it isn’t too hard to understand that.

    Reply
    • msbolin

      I believe so, too. Experienced that and is still experiencing.

      Reply
  5. mumwrites (@vixquips)

    I guess it comes with the territory for mums to have the power to decode their little one’s body language given that it is the only way they can communicate. I guess it is all about a mum’s intuition.

    Reply
    • msbolin

      I agree. Mom’s intuition. 🙂

      Reply
  6. rollcoastermom

    I agree. Because babies can’t talk yet we really have to pay attention to their gestures and facial expressions. We can learn a lot about our babies by just simply being attentive.

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Yup, couldn’t agree more. And you’ll soon have a baby so you would again practice those decoding gestures.

      Reply
  7. xotheurbancat

    When my son is still little, I used to stroke his forehead gently then in a few minutes he’s already sleeping. I think he feels relaxed. That’s why whenever he makes lambing to me now, he wanted me to stroke on his head. Hehe.

    Reply
    • msbolin

      That’s cute and sweet. I used to do that to my baby, too. Forgot everything about it now. Perhaps I do it again as there are times he just cant sleep and feels a little irritated. Thanks!

      Reply
  8. Maan Laxa

    I pride myself on being the only one in the family who can understand my son’s nonverbal cues when he was still a baby haha. But how I wish I knew about baby sign language then; that would have made things even easier!

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Hahaha. Babies really know how to communicate no? And they have their favorites to whom to communicate.

      Reply
  9. Cheanne

    I don’t recall knowing when my boys wanted their diapers changed (if full). I always just felt the diaper. Hehe. I can tell very well though if they’re pooping because they look funny when they do. 🙂

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Hahhaa. They have the cutest expression when they are pooping.. Hahaaha.

      Reply
  10. msbolin

    Haha. Babies are the cutest. No doubt then we miss those moments when they are just so tiny.

    Reply
    • coffee and beyond

      Yes, I remember getting an old baby photo of my eldest. I cried. I just so miss it.

      Reply
  11. Louisa Mercado

    It’s a mystery how I knew all of my babies cues. Just by looking and hearing I can tell.

    Reply
    • msbolin

      🙂 perhaps moms intuition? Or moms love. Sarap maging mommy to babies , no?

      Reply
  12. Maria Teresa Figuerres

    You’re such an observant mom! I wish I was like that when my son was still a baby.

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Maybe because he is my fourth. Hahah. Also, i resigned from work so i have the time to be with him na

      Reply
  13. Nina Sogue

    Being a first time mom, I find it hard to “read” my son at first. But I guess, nothing teaches better than experience. Right now, I would know what he pertains too even if his words are still a bit hard to understand. It’s super kilg to think that we have our own language 🙂

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Hihi. Same feeling re own language 🙂

      Reply
  14. Charley's Mommy

    THis is a great post especially for mommies to be. What we did with Charley was super trial and error until we got what we she meant. 🙂 .Thanks for sharing, Mommy.:)

    Reply
    • msbolin

      You are welcome. Yes, would like to somehow help moms to be , especially first time ones.

      Reply
  15. Lady Anne Louise Barrun

    I am very sensitive and observant with my son’s gesture when he was a newborn. It is amazing how babies can communicate to us right?

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Sobra nakaka amaze. 🙂

      Reply
  16. Viva Kitchen Goddess

    I love your post. It makes me reminisce about my “conversations” with my daughter when she was still a baby. 🙂

    Reply
    • msbolin

      Thank you. If only babies can remain as such. Too selfish though.

      Reply
  17. Arlene Tingson

    I love the way your blog looks. It’s clean, neat, and organized. It’s so refreshing in the eye, and it’s worth anyone’s time to read. Keep it up, mommy!

    Reply

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Motherhood, as I live it, is a gift not everyone can appreciate until she learns to truly live it. More musings and realizations, fun discoveries, and mommy tips at Momi Berlin's blog.

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