How does my newborn baby communicate?

Newborn babies have an amazing way of communicating what they are thinking and feeling, what they like and dislike and the things they need from you.

Read below to discover more about your baby’s language.

What is baby behaviour?

Baby behaviour is the term used to describe all the movements, sounds and responses that your newborn baby uses to express what they are thinking and feeling. For your baby, their behaviour is their language!  When you understand the meaning of these often-subtle behaviours, you will be able to understand more about your baby’s uniqueness and the things they are saying to you.

Your baby loves it when you interact and respond to them as you build your special relationship, which is so important for their health, development and happiness as they grow up. It’s never too soon to start communicating with them!

Is my baby’s behaviour the same as other babies?

The wonderful thing is that your baby is already an individual. Taking time to observe your baby you can see their unique little characteristics. Here are some examples:

  • Some babies are able to sleep undisturbed through almost anything, whilst others need help by keeping the environment dark and quiet
  • Some babies like lots of physical contact and others find lots of handling quite tiring and will let you know they need a break
  • Some babies move between being asleep, awake and crying more quickly, sometimes going straight from sleep to crying, whilst others transition between states more slowly.
  • Some babies may need a lot of support to calm when they get upset, and by comparison, others are able to soothe more easily

What works for one baby may not be the same as what is helpful for another baby. The beauty is in your baby’s uniqueness, which is observable even from the first moments of life. Some parents even notice that characteristics observed in the first months are still part of their child’s personality when they are much older!

Who can help me understand my baby?

The best people to share your baby’s language and uniqueness with you are those who are caring for you and your baby during this period, for example, a midwife, health visitor or family support worker.

The main activity of the Brazelton Centre UK is to teach these health professionals about baby behaviour so they can support you better.

Ask your health professional if they have been certified in the ‘Newborn Behavioural Observations’ (NBO) System or ‘Neonatal Behavioural Assessment Scale’ (NBAS) [read more here]. If not, you can contact us to put you in touch with someone trained in your area.

As our charity grows we hope to give more information and guidance directly to parents through videos and workshops. So please do watch this space!

Why is it so important to understand my baby’s communication?

Babies do an incredible amount of growing in the first months of life and most of this is hidden away in their extraordinary little brains. Babies are born with billions of brain cells which can only function properly when they connect to each other. These nerve connections are made when babies experience being talked to, touched, fed and comforted.

Being sensitive to your baby’s signals and responding to their needs enables your baby’s brain synapses connections to form. This gives them a lifelong capacity for resilience against stress and emotional imbalance. In turn, this leads children to make sense of of their emotions, understanding the world around them and feeling security in the relationships they have.