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Decoding The Secret World of Baby Lingo: What Is Your Baby Trying to Tell You?

By Teddyy 21 Apr 2024

It just breaks my heart. Because I know they’re upset and are obviously trying to tell me something. I’ve tried everything but nothing seems to be working and they’re still crying while I’m struggling to even understand. Makes me very frustrated too because when one new-born tears up the other joins in and it becomes very difficult to soothe them then,” says Pallavi Sisodia, a Jaipur resident, the lone caretaker of their twin new-borns after her husband leaves for work every morning. Hers is the story of every new mother.

Babies talk gibberish all day. While, we’d love to hear what they’re saying, most of the time it’s got nothing to do with us. They’re happily engrossed in their own little worlds.

Sometimes, they do need to get your attention. Babies are impatient beings, and what better way to quickly spur you into action than throw a crying fit, right? Yeah, that gets every parent’s heart racing wildly.

But what if we told you that if you listen closely, you might be able to distinguish between different kinds of new-born baby crying sounds and that each of these sounds mean something.

To an untrained ear, these sounds are going to look very similar. Don’t worry, we’re not about to hand out a 1000-page manual of Baby talk 101. All we’re asking of you is to listen more keenly to your baby and give this article a read. 🙂

Priscilla Dunstan created ‘Dunstan Baby Language’ after eight years of rigorous research on babies worldwide; of different cultures, race, background, etc. She cracked the code and let the world in on what each new born baby crying sound means. Here’s a few code words from her research for all the distressed parents:

  • “Neh” Sound – C’mon, we’ve all heard, the sassy, irritated “nehhh” from our little ones, haven’t we? Babies have a sucking reflex. When they are hungry, they start sucking which makes the neh sound.

If they start making nehh sounds along with sucking motions with their mouth, it means it’s mealtime. Additionally, when babies clench their fists, it means that they are hungry. They might even try to reach for your breast or start sucking their thumbs.

  • “Eh” sound – Your baby is trying to burp. An air bubble is trying to climb its way up their chest which makes the “eh” sound. Your baby might squirm, hiss, shake or look really uncomfortable when they haven’t had a good burp after a meal. Always make sure you burp your baby by rubbing their backs after feeding sessions.
  • “Eairh” Sound – If your baby is trying to pass gas, or has an upset tummy, you might hear the “eairh” sound. This sound usually begins with an open mouth and develops into loud, shrill, rhythmic crying.

It’s caused by cramping stomach muscles and gas that is stuck which causes quite a lot of discomfort try different kinds of holds to let the gas pass easier. If this happens often, consult a doctor.

  • “Heh” Sound – The “heh” sound is associated with discomfort. This is usually in regard to how their skin feels. They might need a nappy change or feeling sweaty or itchy from a diaper that is too full and in need of a change.

The “heh” sound is usually accompanied by mild crying. You should look for infant disposable diapers that absorb more and tell you when it’s time for a change. A Teddyy diaper, for example, is a smart diaper with a susu meter that indicates the need for a change by turning blue from yellow. Poora Neela Toh Diaper Geela!

  • Owh Sound – This sound is made when your baby yawns and exhales. “Owh” means they are exhausted after a day of curious activity and are ready to hit the pillow. They may also start rubbing their eyes and cry a slow, gentle, tired cry.

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How to stop a baby from crying?

Babies generally cry because they:

  1. Need to be fed
  2. Need a diaper change
  3. Are feeling sleepy/ tired
  4. Want to be swaddled
  5. Are feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of activity going on around them

Here’s a few things you can try to soothe them:

  1. Hold them in your arms and pat their backs
  2. Try gently bouncing your baby on your hip
  3. Sing them a lullaby
  4. Offer them a pacifier
  5. Dress your baby in about the same layers of clothing as you are wearing for the weather
  6. Lay them on your chest and let them listen to your heartbeat

Always remember that babies are delicate and need to be looked after very well. So, if your baby is not soothed by all the ways mentioned here, you might want to take a step back and come back only when you’re in full control of your actions.

Make a visit to your doctor to check what’s causing them to bawl their eyes out.

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