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Baby Communication: The Essential Guide to Understanding Your Baby

Baby Communication: The Essential Guide to Understanding Your Baby

Babies don't usually talk until well into toddlerhood; the average child can start to string together sentences between 18 months and 2 years old.

There is nothing as sweet as the baby phase. Soon those gentle little coos will turn into adorable words, but for now, you're stuck guessing what your baby needs. 

While they won't be able to ask for milk or a diaper change just yet, if you pay close attention, you'll notice that there are trends in the way your baby communicates their needs. 

Besides facial emotion and body language, there are also distinctive types of baby cries that can alert you to whatever the problem is. Remember that each baby is unique, so it'll be up to you to recognize the cues.

This baby communication essential guide will help you understand just what it is that your baby is trying to tell you. 

The Building Blocks of Baby Communication

Touch, sounds, and meaningful glances; the beginning of your baby's life is full of communication. 

From the moment they enter the world, your baby is paying attention to everything around them. Through their senses, they are able to absorb new information all the time. This constant stream of knowledge and awareness will help them gain the ability to communicate. 

Make sure to talk to your baby, imitate sounds, and aid them in this communication journey. 

Crying 

Babies are born with the ability to cry. But what does their cry mean? Do they have a dirty diaper, are they hungry, or are they tired?

As your baby grows, they'll acquire new skills to communicate with you, but in the meantime, the cry may be the only way they can get their point across to you.

An upset cry may sound choppy and high-pitched, while a hungry cry might be a bit lower and short. 

Pay attention to their cries and what actions soothe them. Over time, you may recognize patterns in your baby's crying. 

Gestures

A reach up to your breast can mean that your baby is hungry. A nuzzle can signify that they are tired.

Use the sounds that accompany the gestures to best decipher what your little one is trying to say. 

When Should I Get Help?

If you hear a painful sounding cry or an unusual cry, make sure to get medical attention right away. It could be nothing serious, but crying is the major way your little one is going to communicate with you. 

Another thing to pay attention to is new sounds accompanied by odd behavior. If your baby is eating less, has fewer bowel movements, or is seeming less active than usual, call your doctor for advice. They could be sick or have a food allergy

Wunder What Your Baby's Saying? 

At Wunder, we are here for every step of your little one's adventure. From baby communication milestones to the best ways to feed your toddler, we cover the A to Z's of parenthood. 

On the go? Be sure to check out the Wunder Baby Tracker App to help keep track of every important moment you encounter on this beautiful journey.

Baby Sleep Schedule 101: How to Get a Routine Down with Your Newborn

Baby Sleep Schedule 101: How to Get a Routine Down with Your Newborn

There are few things in life more exciting than bringing home a brand new baby!

Babies bring joy, excitement, and fulfillment to life, but they can also leave you feeling exhausted.

You'll need energy, though, to care for your baby, and a great way to get the energy you need is by establishing a baby sleep schedule.

Now, this isn't going to happen overnight. But, it can happen a lot faster if you are intentional with it.

Here are some helpful tips you can use to create a good sleep schedule for your little child.

Start When Your Little One Is a Few Weeks Old

It's not easy to train a brand-new baby to stick to a schedule, so don't try to rush this. Instead, wait until your child is at least a few weeks old before implementing a sleep schedule routine.

If you start too soon, you may feel discouraged when your plan is not working. Be patient, and start slowly. It will take some time for you to learn your baby, and for your baby to learn a routine.

Your baby will most likely adapt well to an established routine by the time he or she is a few months old.

Keep Day and Night Separate

Babies aren't born with a sense of night and day, so helping them learn the difference is key to a successful sleep schedule. You can start right away!

During the day, keep the blinds or curtains open to let lots of daylight in. When your baby isn't napping, give them lots of stimulating play, conversation, and eye contact. At night and nap time, turn the lights and volume low.

When your baby wakes to feed at night, turn on the dimmest light possible, keep talking to a minimum, and resist the urge to gaze into their eyes (they find it really stimulating!). They'll soon start to realize that day is for activity and night is for sleep.

Create a Routine Before Bed

As your baby begins growing, you should create a routine to use before bed. A lot of parents like bathing their babies before bed. Next, they may read a story to their child. After that, they may cuddle them and sing them a lullaby.

These are all great activities to incorporate into a sleep schedule. As your baby develops, he or she will get used to the order of these events and will know what to expect next.

Having a schedule is essential for a baby's cognitive development. Babies will even sleep better when they have a schedule to follow.

Let Him or Her Fall Asleep Alone

One aspect to include in your bedtime routine is letting your baby fall asleep on his or her own. Don't wait to put your newborn to bed until he or she is sleeping. Instead, let your child learn how to fall asleep alone.

Offer a Safe, Nurturing Environment

It's also essential to provide your newborn with a safe, nurturing environment to sleep in. Your baby should sleep in a room that is dark and cool. It should be free of drafts, too.

You can play white noise in the background to offer a soothing sound for your baby, and you should always put your baby to sleep in the same place for naps and bedtime.

Learn More About Developing a Baby Sleep Schedule

Creating a baby sleep schedule is vital for you and your child. If you start working on it and stay consistent, you'll have a good routine to use each day.

If you would like more information about parenting a new baby, check out our blog for more helpful articles.

 

Top 3 Reasons to Read to Your Child from Birth

Top 3 Reasons to Read to Your Child from Birth

Reading Aloud to Your New Baby Boosts Future Language and Reading Skills 

It may seem odd to read books aloud to your brand new baby, but plenty of research has shown how important it is. Not only is reading aloud to your baby a great way to bond and spend quality time together, it is also a proven way to boost your baby’s future language development, reading skills and much more. Once you understand the impact reading aloud has on your baby, you’ll be scheduling it into your daily routine right away.


Most parents know that reading to a school-age child is an important way to improve language and reading comprehension as well as encourage a lifelong love of reading. But what many new parents don’t know is that reading aloud to babies has been shown to have a significant and lasting impact on their language development. A 2017 research study entitled “Early Reading Matters: Long-term Impacts of Shared Bookreading with Infants and Toddlers on Language and Literacy Outcomes,” revealed that book-reading in early infancy and toddlerhood predicted child vocabulary up to four years later. It also showed that book-reading quality during early infancy predicted early reading skills while during the toddler-years, book-reading quantity AND quality were closely tied to emergent literacy skills.


According to the study’s lead author and researcher Carolyn Cates, PhD, “These findings are exciting because they suggest that reading to young children, beginning even in early infancy, has a lasting effect on language, literacy and early reading skills.” She goes on to say “What they’re learning when you read with them as infants still has an effect four years later when they’re about to begin elementary school.


The benefits of reading aloud continue as your child moves into toddler and school-age years.

Jim Trelease - author of The New York Times Bestseller “The Read-Aloud Handbook,” believes that very young children benefit greatly from parents reading aloud. He cites the results of “The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study” (which included 22,000 students) that found kindergarten children who had been read to at least three times a week had a significantly greater phonemic awareness than did children who were read to less often, and were almost twice as likely to score in the top 25 percent in reading readiness. Pretty compelling numbers from the simple act of reading books!

The well-known 1995 book “Meaningful differences in the everyday experience of young American children” established a scientifically substantiated link between children's early childhood experience and their eventual intellectual growth. The authors - Hart and Risley - spent years researching the roots of intellectual disparity. They observed 1 and 2 year old children in typical American families and found staggering contrasts in the amount of interaction between parents and children. These differences translated into shocking disparities in the children's vocabulary growth rate, vocabulary use, and IQ test scores.

Clearly, reading to your baby (and toddler) can create a whole host of benefits both now and in the future; setting your child up for greater levels of success. And all it takes is just ten minutes a day.

Reading to Your Baby May Also Have a Positive Impact on Future Behavior

Reading aloud to your baby has also been shown to potentially help his or her future behavior. In a compelling study, reading aloud and positive play during ages 0-5 was associated with improved behavior outcomes up to 4.5 years later. The study participants who were exposed to parents reading aloud and playing with them had more than a 60% reduction in hyperactivity and psychosocial risk. That study concluded that reading aloud and positive parental play from birth to 5 years could enhance social-emotional development.


Wondering what books are good for reading to your baby? Wunder has a library of our favorite books for you to enjoy with your baby! But truthfully, anything age-appropriate that you enjoy reading to your baby will work just fine. All that really matters is that you read aloud to your baby as soon as possible and as often as possible.