Do you ever wish your baby came with a manual?
If she did, you’d know just what to do… But, unfortunately, kids don’t come with manuals. So, what do you do instead?
Start by paying attention to your baby’s cues.
Even before they can talk, babies can tell us what they want. Babies are actually living manuals — filled with cues. They make faces — smiling, frowning and scrunching up their noses. They make sounds such as cooing, crying and grunting. They move their bodies and reach out, turn away, push up or push down. These are their cues.
Relax and let your baby help you read her cues.
You might be your baby’s first teacher, but your baby can also teach you. Amazingly, without saying a word she can tell you what she wants.
Pay attention to how your baby responds to you.
Watch your baby’s expressions, her movements and her reactions to your responses. Does it seem like she is responding to you or should you try another strategy?
Recognize your baby’s rhythms.
Is it naptime? Is it time for a diaper change? Could she be hungry? Is she seeing a new toy for the first time? Does she need a quiet time after an active visit with friends?
Follow your baby’s lead.
If she’s showing you that she’s interested, keep playing. If she points to a safe object, let her touch it. If she turns away or fusses, she might need a break.
Play games together.
Getting in touch with your baby’s cues isn’t serious business. Your baby loves to play games like peek-a-boo and “where’s the stuffed animal hiding?” A game is a great way to get to know each other!
Remember that every baby is different.
No two infants are alike. Different babies may use different expressions to tell us what they want. Part of the fun of parenting is learning how your baby communicates.
Responding to your baby’s cues teaches your baby something too.
Babies learn that they have an effect on people: People will respond to their cues. You and your baby are discovering more about each other every day and it’s an exciting adventure.