Several years ago a woman appeared on Oprah telling us all about how babies do talk to us. Priscilla Dunstan from Australia had a baby son and she has excellent hearing, through listening closely to him she realized he made certain noises at the beginning of his cries. Those sounds correlated to what his needs were. She studies these sounds by listening to babies around the world and found these sounds to be universal signals to mothers about what the baby needs. You can see a short video about these sounds right here, and watch an extended version that comes up afterward.
These sounds appear just at the beginning of the cry, much like the “th” sound precedes the remainder of the word “thing” “thought” “thunder”.
Neh- at the beginning says “I’m hungry”
“Aah” “Owh” or “Wah” means “I’m tired, help me fall asleep”
“H-eh” with a prominent “H” sound is telling you baby is uncomfortable- cold, wet, scrunched, hot, needs a change, etc
A growly “Eairh” is a sign baby has gas in the lower belly- this is a good time for a belly massage or leg exercises to move the air
A grunty “EH” is saying “I need to burp”
When this woman appeared on Oprah I had 3 children already and many many baby cousins and lots of babysitting experience. I knew immediately that these sounds were correct. I’d heard them a hundred times before and knew some of them already. You have too, you just didn’t know what you were listening to. Have you ever been out of the house and heard a crying baby and thought to yourself- “Why, he’s tired, poor thing- take him home to bed.” or ” Can’t you hear she’s hungry? Just feed her already!” Sure you have… If you have lived with an infant. That’s why your grandma can tell you what’s wrong when you feel like you have no clue.
If you have a little one and you just can’t understand why the baby is crying, take a listen here and maybe you will be enlightened. Babies do talk to us, they listen too, and even will join in the conversation with sounds, looks, and gestures. Watch and listen to your baby, and be amazed!
There is a link to Dunstan’s site in the parent’s links section.