Developmental

Baby Cues – What your baby is trying to tell you!

Newborns have reflexive behaviours that create a universal language. We are going to take a whistle stop tour of some of the main Baby Cues below.

Engagement Cues

The first Cue we are looking at is the Engagement Cues. These show when baby is ready to play and interact.
Your little one will appear to be in a Quiet Alert State:
Indicators are:

  • Relaxed Body
  • Bright Wide Open Eyes

What should you do when you see these engagement Cues?
Talk to and play with your baby. This is optimal time for playing. It is a great idea to get some Tummy Time done when your little one is in this state. They are more likely to be receptive to it.

As your little one becomes more active you will need to start watching out for cues about what they need.
Understanding hunger, wind, tired cues and even poop cues can really help minimize getting to the full blown crying stage of ‘needs’.

There are a number of Hunger Cues

  • Hunger Cues no.1 Rooting – baby wants to latch on
  • Hunger Cues no.2 Sucking – they will suck on anything they can reach ( a hungry baby is not sure where the food came from and they will try to suck and latch wherever they can)
  • Hunger Cue no.3 Tongue Thrusts – baby moving tongue around a lot inside the mouth.
  • Hunger Cue no.4 Baby may dive for a nipple when being held

Full Cues

Indicators are:

  • Satisfied
  • Milk Drunk Baby,
  • Sleepy,
  • Groggy,
  • Relaxed

Windy Cues

Indicators are:

  • Pulling knees up to tummy,
  • Creaking noises,
  • Squirming,
  • Grimacing,
  • Generally being unsettled.

Do – burp the baby over your shoulder & pat its back, or sitting on your knee and patting its back, or do the yoga roll of the knees gently up to the tummy & hold for a second or two and relax them back, and repeat as long as baby needs it or as baby will allow.

Poop Cues

Indicators are:

  • Thoughtful expression,
  • Pursed lips,
  • Furrowed brow,
  • Grunting

When you see these cues – hold your baby in the poop position – hold them in front of you, support their thighs. Its easier to poop sitting than lying down.

Tired Cues

Indicators are:

  • Yawning,
  • Dull glassy gaze,
  • Rubbing eyes and ears

Do – soothe them to sleep – swaddle baby or snuggle it up tight, pick a repetitive motion and or white noise.

Do not continue to stimulate a tired baby, an overstimulated baby will cry,,,,and cry,,,,and cry. Its their only way to release it.

Disengagement Cues

Indicators are:

  • Glassy Eyes
  • Jerky Movements
  • Turn away and push things away

Overstimulation Cues (these can happen if you ignore the disengagement cues and keep stimulating baby)

Indicators are:

  • Stiff Body
  • Tight muscles
  • Grinding Cry

Instead of adding more stimulation, try rocking, swaddling, white noise

Chose a calming technique that is repetitive and predictable and stick with if for at least 5 mins.

As baby settles down try quiet repetitive motion to sooth baby to sleep.

The first 10 – 15mins of sleep is REM. It’s a light sleep.

Light sleep signs are; twitching, fluttering eyelids, sucking.

Continue your soothing technique in this stage of sleep, and try not to disturb the baby.

They will settle in to deep sleep after 10 -20mins.

Deep Sleep – relaxed body and face and quiet rhythmic breathing, very little moving.

As soon as you get to know your baby you’ll get to know their own unique cues.

Related Posts

One thought on “Baby Cues – What your baby is trying to tell you!

  1. Shannen says:

    I see you mention using white noise to help get baby to sleep. Could you please share some good resources on it? Is there a limit to how long they listen to it? The volume level advised and how to tell if it’s too loud for baby. Thanks so much for all you do. As a clueless first time mother in this pandemic I am reliant on the internet, Instagram pages and family for advice and support with my 8 month old son. I couldn’t attend antenatal classes in person. So I am more confident now in my ability as a mother since discovering your site. So thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *