REAL LIFE

How Newborns Signal You About Their Feelings: 6 Tips To Understand Your Baby's Body Language

Date February 27, 2019

Welcoming a new member to the family is an exciting experience. Along with happiness, the new parents may face a wide range of emotions: Frustration, anxiety and confusion are normal feelings when coping with a new status and upcoming challenges. One is to learn how to understand your baby.

Newborns communicate their feelings and needs through signs and gestures that aren’t so easy to interpret at first. But once you trust your gut and watch your little one’s behaviour, you will be able to meet their expectations and translate their signals with no effort.

READ ALSO: Age-By-Age Guidelines For Helping Big Siblings Embrace A New Baby

How Newborns Signal You About Their Feelings: 6 Tips To Understand Your Baby's Body LanguageHow Newborns Signal You About Their Feelings: 6 Tips To Understand Your Baby's Body LanguageVentura / Shutterstock.com

Here are 6 tips that may help:

1. The baby is arching their back

Arching their back means your baby is having pain or discomfort in the body. It may be heartburn or stomach uneasiness. Take notes of their diet and figure out what food may be causing that feeling. Massage the baby’s belly gently or put them in a different position. You may probably need to change their position while breastfeeding.

How Newborns Signal You About Their Feelings: 6 Tips To Understand Your Baby's Body LanguageHow Newborns Signal You About Their Feelings: 6 Tips To Understand Your Baby's Body Languagebaby body languagespass / Shutterstock.com

2. Kicking their legs, throwing them up in the air and grabbing their toes

This way, the babies express the feeling of comfort and happiness. It’s actually a good sign, meaning the little one feels good with you.

How Newborns Signal You About Their Feelings: 6 Tips To Understand Your Baby's Body LanguageHow Newborns Signal You About Their Feelings: 6 Tips To Understand Your Baby's Body Languagebaby body languageOksana Kuzmina / Shutterstock.com

3. Opening and closing their mouth, and sticking their tongue out

When the baby is imitating eating and sucking, they are hungry. They may also turn their head from side to side as if looking for the breast to latch on.

How Newborns Signal You About Their Feelings: 6 Tips To Understand Your Baby's Body LanguageHow Newborns Signal You About Their Feelings: 6 Tips To Understand Your Baby's Body LanguageFamVeld / Shutterstock.com

4. Clenching fists

Clenching fists is a natural reflex for the newborns, but if the grip is too tight and it is accompanied by wimping, and tension in the whole body, it means anxiety and stress. The baby is not comfortable, and they must be suffering from cold, heat, hunger or thirst, or just dislike the atmosphere and the company.

How Newborns Signal You About Their Feelings: 6 Tips To Understand Your Baby's Body LanguageHow Newborns Signal You About Their Feelings: 6 Tips To Understand Your Baby's Body Languagebody language of babiesDigitalMammoth / Shutterstock.com

READ ALSO: Protecting Your Baby From Choking Hazards: All The Things You Should Know

5. Throwing their arms up in the air suddenly

That signals the baby’s anxiety. They could be frightened or experiencing discomfort because of bright lights or loud sudden sounds. 

How Newborns Signal You About Their Feelings: 6 Tips To Understand Your Baby's Body LanguageHow Newborns Signal You About Their Feelings: 6 Tips To Understand Your Baby's Body Languagebody language of babiesHalfpoint / Shutterstock.com

6. Doing crunches

If the baby is crunching the body, it can be a sign of colic, stomach pain or digestive problems. Place a warm water bottle on the stomach, change the baby’s position or massage the belly with circular motions.

How Newborns Signal You About Their Feelings: 6 Tips To Understand Your Baby's Body LanguageHow Newborns Signal You About Their Feelings: 6 Tips To Understand Your Baby's Body Languagetwinsfizkes / Shutterstock.com

If you know the reason for a baby’s discomfort, make sure to satisfy their basic needs. If their crying does not stop, follow these simple tips to help soothe the baby:

  • Many parents lose control while hearing the baby cry, but the key point here is to calm down. Talk to the baby with a calm and soft voice, reassuring them you are there for them;
  • Hold the newborn, rock them slowly from side to side, without any harsh movements;
  • Play a slow melodic tune;
  • Use white noise: It has a calming effect on a baby. If you have nothing to play it on, recreate the white noise yourself;
  • Give the baby something to suck on;
  • Stroke their face and head, massage their body;
  • Distract them with a song, a toy, any object or a sound that they really like.

Understanding a baby comes with time and patience, but it’s totally worth it. Be attentive to how your little one responds, and talk to them. You will be able to build a wonderful relationship based on honest communication.

READ ALSO: Experts Share Tips On How Parents Can Explain A New Surrogate Baby To The Other Children


The material in this article is for informational purposes only and does not replace the advice of a certified specialist.