By now, you have learned when your baby is telling you "yes, I like this" or the opposite, "S.O.S." We have heard from parents about different ways babies communicate to engage or disengage from you or another stimulus.
Some cues that tell a mom and dad "I'm interested" include:
- Looking at your face
- Smooth movements of arms and legs
- Reaching out to you
- Turning eyes or head toward you
- Smiling, cooing, and having general bright, happy expressions
Some cues we have learned that tell parents "I need a break" include:
- Turning head and eyes away
- Crying, fussing
- Back arching, squirming, pulling away
- Blushing of skin
- Breathing faster, hiccups
Again, all babies are unique, so your baby may give you a cue that is unique to him. It is important to pay attention and learn about these cues for loving, respectful, responsive care giving. This type of information about your child is also very important to share if you eventually decide to leave Baby with a childcare provider.
This month Baby is making strides with language, too. He is actively listening to what you are telling him, watching your mouth and studying how your tongue moves.
Baby will start making different sounds that usually begin with a vowel. He will hear himself and keep practicing moving his tongue to repeat sounds. Keep talking to him by repeating the sounds he makes and taking turns. Let your baby answer you. Follow his eyes to see if he is looking at something. He may be talking about an object or another person. Whatever it is, he is talking to you and will adore your loving attention back.
Babies love to suck. Whether it is a pacifier, a blankie, dad's finger, or Baby's own thumb, sucking is an important skill for baby to comfort himself.
When Baby is getting fussy or tired, we have heard of strategies from parents to help a baby by putting his fingers up to his mouth or offering a pacifier. Even gently folding your baby's arms against the midline of his chest and wrapping him in a soft blanket or your safe arms is a way to help baby relax. This body position is a soothing, physical reminder of the safe, warm world from which he came.
Are you a pacifier pro? Take our quiz to find out!
Mood & Behavior
By now, you have seen your baby in a number of moods and behavioral states. These moods are normal and help a baby to make it through the day. Keep in mind; a simple description of these states has its limitations. Babies proceed through these states at different paces; the same baby can show different moods on different days depending on many factors, such as sleep, feeding, growth spurts and many others. (Read more about parenting your child's temperament throughout his early years.)
Here are six different states that you probably know all about:
- Quiet sleep is when Baby's eyes are firmly closed with little or no motor activity. This is a great time for you to get a much-needed nap.
- Active sleep is when Baby's eyes are closed but may move. You may have seen your baby twitch, smile, frown and stretch while actively sleeping.
- Drowsy is when eyes are partially open, the body is still and expression is dazed.
- Crying is a state that needs no explanation.
- Active alert is a period of activity, which may include vocalizations, moans, grunts, and fussing. It often precedes sleeping.
- Quiet alert is the beautiful time during the day when Baby is relaxed, eyes are open and bright. Baby is observing all the interesting things in his world.