The Language of Babies

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I was watching Oprah yesterday and she had a segment called "The Secret Language of Babies" and it was fascinating. She interviewed Priscilla Dunstan who claims she has a photographic memory for sounds and has learned what babies (0-3 months) are trying to tell us in their cry regardless of race or ethnicity. The five sounds and their meanings are:

Meaning: "I'm hungry!"
Where it comes from: The noise made when a baby pushes his tongue to the roof of his mouth because he wants to eat, "neh," is an infant's sucking reflex with sound added to it.

The word: "I need to burp!"
Where it comes from: When a big bubble of air is caught in your baby's chest, the sound you hear is "eh," as your baby tries to get the burp out.

The word: "I'm tired!"
Where it comes from: An audible yawn, you can spot the word because your baby's mouth will be in an oval shape as he says it.

The word: "I'm uncomfortable!"
Where it comes from: Your baby's response to a skin reflex (the same one that governs sweating) signals irritation -- a wet diaper or an itchy bodysuit.

The word: "I have gas!"
Where it comes from: If a burp doesn't make it out, it moves through your baby's digestive system -- "eaire" is the sound you get as the muscles of the intestine and stomach tighten to force the air bubble out.

You can see a short clips of the show on Oprah's website or watch the rerun on Sunday night on ABC. It is scheduled to be on again at 10pm (PST).

Priscilla Dunstan is coming out with a new video later this month titled "Dunstan Baby Language".

Just passing along some helpful tips to other new mothers out there.