Naina, age 9 months, is making noises “eh-eh” and happily playing with her toys when the door bell rings. She leaves her toys, looks at her grandma, and raises her arms to her. Grandma picks her up and walks to the door. Naina is quite and looking for something as if she just lost her favorite toy. As they reach the main door, she tries to undock herself. “Naina! Baby! Look who’s home” her mom calls from the other side of the door. Naina waves her arms and kicks her feet hard to grandma’s tummy. With sparking eyes on that super happy face, Naina laughs to grandma flaunting her two little teeth. Grandma opens the door and Naina almost tries to fall off to mom.
Babies feel the same emotions as adults do; but they express it differently. As they cannot speak out, they try some other ways to convey their message. First, she leaves her toys as she has understood its time when her mom comes back home. She then raises her arms expecting grandma to carry her along to the main door. Her curiosity is not for her lost toy but for her mother who should have reached home by then. She can recognize her mother’s voice from the other side of the door and expresses her excitement and happiness by kicking her feet.
Their gestures are very expressive…it’s just that we as parents may or may not always understand it. I can still remember the time when my little one was a few days old and my mother could understand that she is crying because she is wearing a wet nappy (without even touching her) and not coz of hunger. Her confidence used to come as a surprise to me. It took me a lot more time but her advice to understand my baby’s cries was really helpful.
In those early days and even months, crying is the only communication tool babies have. They may cry because of discomfort (may be a wet nappy or a loaded diaper), because of hunger (you may have fed her well but it wasn’t fulfilling), or due to pain (it could be a mosquito bite or regular gastric tummy ache). All you need to do is pay attention to every cry sound they make in those early days and this will help you understand their needs better.
As they grow older, they tend to use their whole body to pass indications. Observe where your baby is looking and it will tell you a lot about what she is thinking or probably expecting. A bright-eyed focus on a new toy, then at you, and then back at the toy is an indication to tell you “What’s that interesting thing… I wanna play with it… bring it on!”. Likewise, an overstimulated or tired baby will often yawn and rub their head or their face over you to tell you “I’m tired now… wanna head to bed”.
Understanding a smile is easy but parenthood is much beyond that! Babies express their frustration, pleasure, excitement, boredom, happiness, sadness, curiosity through their facial expression, gaze, and gestures.
Hope this gave you a better idea on how can we share a stronger bond with our babies! Lemme know your thoughts by commenting below.