By Aakanksha Bhargava
As the baby utters its very first cry, it starts communicating with its parents. For a new parent, it is important to understand the body language of their infants to better understand what they need and work on communicating with them. As the cognitive skills build up (from a very early age, as research suggests), your child begins complex communications that could make your life as parents that much simpler. Here are five ways to understand your infant better!
1. Listen to music together
There is something very soothing about listening to music with your child. While still developing, a baby’s understanding of varying rhythms and tunes is fairly acute. Watch out for what excites your child and which parts of the music soothe him/her. This can go a long way in establishing a pattern of calm and composure when your baby is fussing or troubled.
2. Kicking legs in the air
This is usually one of the first signs to watch out for – perhaps the first time your child is communicating with you. If you see your baby doing this, chances are they are very happy or in an excitable state. This could be on seeing you or with the anticipation of being breastfed. Encourage this communication as kicking his or her legs will help develop their legs better, which is essential for the crawling stage.
3. Understanding their sleep patterns
Understanding your baby’s sleep patterns is as important for them as it is for you. Only new parents know how tough it is to care for their infant and get a decent night’s rest. If you analyse your child’s sleep pattern or body language when they are close to sleeping, you can use these as cues to get rest for yourself. Nursing mothers need adequate rest and hydration to breastfeed their children effectively – sleep will be your best friend!
4. Indulge in an activity before they sleep
This could be a story, a song or just listening to music together before your baby sleeps. Research suggests that while cognitive abilities are being developed, babies undergo the same REM sleep patterns as adults, which means they dream of the things they see and hear. Surround your child with an environment that not only brings them closer to you but also develops their skills diligently in the process.
5. Fist clenching
This is an important sign to watch out for, as this indicates that your baby may be agitated, often due to hunger. If going for an outing or flight, make sure to watch out for this sign as it could be a lifesaver in terms of keeping tantrums to a minimum.
(The writer is CEO at PMR.)