Best Way to Communicate with Your Baby

Your baby is born with a strong drive to communicate, and quickly develops many different ways of “talking” to you. He has many different kinds of cry, which he uses to convey different needs, and uses eye contact and body language effectively. Before he is two months old, he will smile and coo to express pleasure or to engage you in interaction. He is already laying down the foundations of verbal communication.


Your baby’s most effective way of communicating with you in the early months is through crying, lie will probably do it a lot because it is the only way he has of letting you know what his needs and feelings are; in a sense, it’s his first baby talk. Even your baby’s first cry after birth has an important communicative role: it tells the doctor or midwife that his lungs have successfully filled with air for the first time and that he can breathe.

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To begin with, you may think that every time your baby cries he makes the same sounds, but you will gradually learn that different noises convey different needs. While every baby’s cry is unique, studies have found that the hunger cry often follows a similar pattern of rhythmic noises, and is frequently accompanied by kicking, for example. In contrast, cries of boredom tend to be less regular or coordinated, and may have longer pauses in between as your baby awaits the desired response. Cries of pain are much more intense, and will probably send you running to him.

As you begin to understand the different tones, sounds, and rhythms of your baby’s cries, you will be able to attend to his needs quickly and effectively – feeding him when he’s hungry and comforting him when he is in pain, for example. This will lessen his need to cry to communicate as time goes on.

What you can do

Quiet babies are often described as well behaved; but a crying baby is not being difficult – he is just letting you know that he is not happy with something. The best thing you can do is respond to him by giving him the attention he needs. Research has shown that, on the whole, babies whose cries are answered quickly tend to be more secure and strongly attached to their parents than those who are left to “cry it out”. They also learn at an earlier age to use more varied ways of communication that do not involve crying. By responding to your baby quickly, you are truly letting him know that he has successfully communicated with you, that you are tuned in to his needs, and that he can rely on you. Better still, learn to recognize his body language, so that whenever possible you can intervene before he starts to cry.

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Holding him close, talking to him, and giving him lots of attention will give him a sense of security. If you let him know that you are always there when he needs you, he will feel nurtured and cared for.

When crying gets too much

A constantly crying baby can be hard to deal with, but try to remember that your baby is not crying deliberately to frustrate you. Ask friends and relatives to help out, so that you can take some time for yourself to restore your energy levels and give yourself a treat.

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