Getting to know your baby is so important, especially during those early weeks and months. As a new parent you may be reaching for the books – these can be great for reassurance but watch your baby to get to know his needs and his cues. It doesn’t happen over night, it takes weeks to get to know your baby and that it totally fine.
Getting to know your baby: cues
This is a basic guide to your baby’s cues – noticing these simple ways of communicating can help you to get to know your baby and to try to meet his needs before he starts crying.
New babies need…
- food – with tiny stomachs babies need to feed little and often on demand rather than a schedule
- love – this doesn’t happen straight away but love helps your instincts to kick in
- warm & dry – so they are comfortable
- sleep – babies often need frequent sleeps day and night and new babies don’t understand night and day
- safety – babies need to feel safe as they adapt to the new world around them. Being calm, eye contact and cuddles can help them feel safe
- response – babies can make noises to get attention so their needs can be met. They can often need cuddles because that is helps them to de-stress and be calm
- interaction – babies love a face to look at and will often seek eye contact
Young babies have simple needs and they will communicate to tell you want those needs are. It isn’t always easy to work it out but your ability to do this can develop throughout the early weeks. And no two days are the same – babies are constantly growing, learning and changing and some will go from calm and settled to upset and overwhelmed quickly.
As you get to know your baby, your confidence will build and you may be able to settle your baby’s needs much easier, most of the time.