Decoding Your Baby
Newborn babies cry a lot, it is their only way of communicating with you that they need or want something but as they start developing, they will start making a series of different sounds and squeals. These sounds are their way of communicating with you, so take note of the different noises they make and when they make them.
Squealing is one of the first sounds that your baby will start to make, after crying. These squeals are generally associated with happiness or excitement. When they do start to squeal, acknowledge it and say something like “Do you like that?” or “It’s fun when we splash the water”. The probably don’t really understand what you are saying but can pick up from your tone and your facial expressions and this will encourage them and aid in their language development because you are putting words to their experience and emotion.
Grunts start to develop a little later on in your baby’s development but are usually associated with them trying to get your attention, when they are frustrated or even bored. As your baby gets closer to a year this sound will be used for them to indicate they want something so by responding saying “Do you want this toy?”, you are again aiding in their vocabulary and teaching them how to communicate with you.
Chuckles and laughing are the most fun sounds that your baby will develop, there is nothing more infectious than a baby laughing. It is not only a sign that they are enjoying themselves but also that they are starting to develop their own sense of humour. It is easy to respond and encourage these responses because they are associated with happiness.
Sighing is another sound that you may not even have noticed your baby is making yet. This sound can be your baby’s way of letting you know they are completely content and relaxed. A good way to respond to their sighs is to copy them, try making different lengths or pitches to your sighs.
Babbling starts between 4 and 6 months and is what is often referred to as baby talk and sounds like gibberish, but it is your baby figuring out sounds. You will not understand it and they may not understand completely what you are saying but talk back to them, ask questions, make comments on your surroundings or the situation they are in to encourage this.
Decoding what your baby is trying to say can start out a little frustrating but if you listen carefully and pay attention to situations then you will soon figure it out and before you know it you will be communicating with your baby.