Reading Your Baby’s Cues


Understanding your baby’s cues can be a lot of trial and error, but today I wanted to share some typical cues that babies give and what they mean. Reading your baby’s cues and responding to them not only helps build attachment between parent/caregiver and child but also helps with communication and language skills.


Newborns and young infants use crying as a way to communicate a need for something. As time goes on you will understand which cry means what. A hungry cry tends to be short and low pitched. A painful cry tends to be constant and longer.Paying attention to what your baby needs and the cry that goes with it, can help you meet your child’s needs.

Gaze Aversion:

Infants can feel overstimulated sometimes from an enthusiastic relative, visitor or even caregiver. Infants, at about two months, will turn their head away from someone to tell them to stop. Sometimes this can escalate into a crying that can’t be resolved with sleep, feeding, or a diaper change. Knowing before hand that the infant needs a few minutes alone can help avoid an inconsolable child.

Back Arching:

Infants under four months will arch their back when they are full, or if they are experiencing some sort of discomfort. It can be common to see a child who arches their back and cries, as a sign of reflux. If you are feeding your baby and they start to arch their back, sit them upright and give them time to digest their food. If they seem to be having discomfort, change the position you are holding them in or let them roll around on the floor.

Rubbing eyes or Yawning:

When a baby under six months of age is rubbing their eyes or starting to yawn that means they are tired. If this is happening around bedtime you might want to start your nighttime routine, starting rocking them, singing to them, changing into pajamas, or lowering the lights.


This is a reflex that exists only in the first few weeks after birth, but can be very important in teaching your newborn to eat. Rooting is when you touch a child’s cheek he will turn toward your finger. Rubbing their cheek to help them find a nipple for breastfeeding or for bottle feeding can be great for teaching them skills for eating that they will continue to use after this reflex is gone.
Knowing what your baby is trying to say to you can help bring a lot more peace into the hectic life of having a newborn, but don’t forget that it isn’t easy and it takes time to learn your child’s specific ques. The important thing is to keep trying and don’t get too worried if you aren’t exactly sure what your child needs, they will tell you if something is seriously wrong! 

What are some ways your baby communicates with you??

*The information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.  This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-provider relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.  Please consult your healthcare provider before making any diet or treatment decisions


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