Understanding Your Baby: 17 Key Signs to Watch

Decode your little one’s needs better with essential signs. Improve parenting with our guide to understanding your baby.

Understanding your baby involves addressing fears about their well-being and learning to interpret their non-verbal cues. Experts reveal 3 effective methods for babies to communicate with their parents or adults: crying, movements, and sounds.

While each parent adapts to their baby’s unique signs, at Viral Strange, we will explore 17 common rules to discern their needs.


Understanding Your Baby

During the first four months of life, crying is the primary means for babies to communicate their needs. However, deciphering if it’s hunger, pain, or something else can be challenging for parents.

1. Bored cry: Starts with cooing, inviting play, then fussing and whimpering when ignored.

2. Tired cry: Whiny at first, escalates with yawns.

3. Hunger cry: Low-pitched and repetitive, accompanied by finger-sucking.

4. Pain cry: High-pitched with occasional screaming bursts, indicating increased pain.

5. Sick cry: Soft whimpers, reflecting reduced energy levels.

6. Other reasons: Tiny babies may cry due to environmental changes, frustration, or boredom.


Priscilla Dunstan, an Australian opera singer, delves into early childhood sounds, suggesting that primary reflex sounds are intentional. Babies begin making these sounds just before crying as a way of seeking communication. Recognizing these sounds in time may prevent crying episodes. Experiments with thousands of babies from various nationalities support her idea.

1. “Neh” – Indicates hunger, baby needs to be fed.

2. “Eh” – Suggests the need to burp.

3. “Owh” – Signals sleepiness or tiredness.

4. “Heh” – Expresses discomfort or unease.

5. “Eairh” – Points to gas and tummy pain.


Understanding Your Baby

A baby’s well-being is often conveyed through their body language, speaking volumes without words.

1. Arching their back: This may indicate pain or colic, especially for babies under 4 months old.

2. Rotating their head: A soothing gesture, observed before sleep or when feeling anxious.

3. Grabbing their ears: Often harmless exploration or self-soothing; consult a doctor if followed by crying and scratching.

4. Clenching their fists: Sign of hunger; timely recognition can prevent hunger-related crying.

5. Lifting their legs: Indicates colic or tummy pain; baby tries to ease discomfort reflexively.

6. Jerking their arms: Frightened; caused by loud sounds, bright lights, or sudden awakening; comfort your baby.

Pediatricians advise frequent communication with your baby, explaining and showing them their surroundings, even if they don’t seem to comprehend. This fosters early communication skills, gestures, and development.

Good luck in understanding your baby!

Written by Zhwan Azad

i'm a pharmacist and i love writing about Relationship advisory!

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