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    Decoding your Newborn Baby's Body Language
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    Parenting A Guide for First-Time Mom
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    baby body language
    27 October 2014

    Decoding your Newborn Baby's Body Language

    4 mins read
    A Guide for First-Time Mom
    for New Born
    13.0K engaged
    Newborns often cry to communicate their different needs and desires- you can take cues from their body movements and try to understand what they are trying to communicate. Here is a quick guide to understanding the different body language signs in your baby.


    Babies can light up your hearts with joy and love. No one can stop from cuddling a cute little baby when you see one. Just as we show certain reactions towards babies, they also try to express their happiness and warmth by smiling, kicking their hands and legs, and with sounds. Infants love being cuddled and embraced as it makes them feel wanted and safe. While most of the times these young ones communicate through crying, there are some particular physical movements that signify various feelings and emotions in kids. As a parent, you would learn to decipher your baby's body language by observing him/her. Some insight into the meaning of these diverse gestures that may confuse new parents:


    There are various reasons behind crying in babies, such as hunger, drowsiness, teething, fear, a dirty diaper, hot or cold weather etc. Sometimes a newborn might be too irritated with the overload of stimuli, and might let you know this with his crying. Babies tend to resort to crying to denote any of the above mentioned problems, so it is up to parents to identify the cause and solve it immediately.

    Arching Back

    When in pain, mostly due to colic or heartburn, your newborn will arch his back and stiffen his body. He might do this while feeding, or even when playing. Body stiffness, arching or jerks can be associated with some physical discomfort. You should take necessary action right away to ease his trouble.

    Fist Clenching

    Fist clenching with or without crying can be a sign of extreme hunger and stress, triggered by hunger. The obvious solution would be to satiate the baby by feeding him.



    Sometimes you’ll notice your newborn suddenly throwing his arms to his sides. This is a result of his underdeveloped reflexes to loud noises and sudden movements. It’s completely normal, and shows that he is sensitive to his surroundings. Startling can also happen in sleep, even in a perfectly calm environment. Your grandmother might tell you that he is dreaming or having a nightmare, which is not medically proven and remains just a myth. 

    Other Gestures

    If the baby is yawning too often, or rubs his eyes using his fists, or blinks frequently, he means to tell you that he is sleepy. If he opens his mouth or tries to suck your fingers, he is asking for food and if he is wide alert, then he definitely wants to play. Also, if he starts looking away, it is a warning sign that you should stop disturbing him and let him enjoy his own company.

    Feelings and Emotions

    Even a newborn is capable of expressing diverse emotions such as happiness, anger, sadness, interest in something and so on. Look directly into the eyes of your baby to connect with him and smile, you will see him smiling back at you instantly. If you scowl, he might just burst into tears. Read all these signs to know how your baby responds to various objects and people around him.

    Talking and Communicating

    Even though your little one cannot talk or understand your language, you can connect to him by speaking to him in a warm tone or in ‘Parentese’. This will encourage your baby to murmur and make sounds in an excited manner. You can read him story books and rhymes to develop his language skills.

    We all have it in us to understand what our little ones desire. There is no one else in the world he can connect with better than his parents. All you need to do is take cues from his body language and expressions, and soon you will understand his needs and moods.

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