Just because your baby can’t talk doesn’t mean your little one doesn’t have important things to tell you.
From the moment your baby is born, each of their senses – sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste work together to form a complete picture of what’s happening around them.
Unfortunately for most parents we don’t speak baby. However, it is important to be able to read the baby’s body language,and here are seven communication clues to decode them.
1. Arching Back
If your baby arches her back, it could be a reaction to pain, particularly heartburn. If your baby arches her back in the middle of being fed, it means that she is full. It could also mean that she has GERD, acid reflux, or colic.
Once stomach acid comes up her eosophagus, the baby will arch her back to relieve the discomfort. Crying is often accompanied by the arching of the back. In older infants, the back arching could be due to the baby feeling angry, frustrated, or tired. Perhaps a nap might help.
2. Constant Kicking
Claire McCarthy, MD, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Harvard Medical School at Christian’s Hospital Boston says that if a baby is constantly kicking while smiling and appearing to be happy, it likely means that she wants to play.
If she is fussy and kicking, there could be something wrong. It could be a dirty diaper, gas, or feeling cramped in her seat. If you are able to figure out why she is kicking, you can take the necessary steps to help her feel better, and the kicking will stop.
3. Head Banging
Catherine Nelson, MD, a pediatrician at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose says that most babies find the rhythmic back-and-forth motion, soothing. This is normal if your baby does this for a minute or two.
If your baby does this for more than a few minutes, you should bring it to your doctor’s attention. The behavior should have subsided once your baby is three.
4. Grabbing the Ears
Dr. Nelson says that just because your baby is pulling on her ears, it doesn’t mean that she has an ear infection. While an infection is a possibility, it could also mean that she is teething.
This is particularly common behaviour when your baby’s one-year molars are coming in. Unfortunately, there isn’t too much that you can do about teething.
5. Clenched Fist
If your baby is clenching her fist tightly, it means that she is stressed out due to hunger. If your baby is making a fist, even if she isn’t crying, you should feed her.
It’s best to have the bottle ready before the crying begins. It is easier for you and your baby. There is nothing worse than trying to heat up a bottle when your baby is screaming.
6. Drawn up knees
This is the sign that your baby may have digestive problems such as constipation, gas or stomach uneasiness.
“This position is usually a sign of abdominal discomfort, either from having gas, passing a bowel movement or being constipated,” Dr. Nelson said.
Rub their back to help them burp which might help ease their pain.
7. Arm jerks
If this occurs, your baby might get startled by some loud noise, bright light or a sudden movement. To avoid this, make sure that their surrounding is quiet and calm and swaddle them when they go to sleep.
Once they reach three or four months old the arm jerks should be gone.
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