Listen to your baby “talking” to tell you what is wrong. Watch their body language, too.

Dunstan baby cry interpretation method

Neh (“I’m hungry”) Listen for the “n” sound before your baby’s whimper. (He is trying to suck, so the shape of his mouth dictates the noise. ) An infant uses the sound reflex “Neh” to communicate its hunger. The sound is produced when the sucking reflex is triggered, and the tongue is pushed up on the roof of the mouth.

Owh (“I’m sleepy.”) To communicate that they are tired your baby’s mouth will likely form an oval.The sound is produced much like an audible yawn, It can be a short “owh” or a drawn out “owwwh”.  An infant uses the sound reflex “Owh

Eairh (“I have gas”) This word comes from your baby’s belly. Think of the noise you want to make when your stomach hurts; like a groan. To communicate they have flatulence or an upset stomach. The sound is produced when trapped air from a belch is unable to release and travels to the stomach where the muscles of the intestines tighten to force the air bubble out. Often, this sound will indicate that a bowel movement is in progress, and the infant will bend its knees, bringing the legs toward the torso. This leg movement assists in the ongoing process.

Eh: (“I need to be burped”) Don’t be surprised if your baby repeats this one Eh, Eh, Eh. The sound is produced when a large bubble of trapped air is caught in the chest, and the reflex is trying to release this out of the mouth.

Heh Similar to “neh”, but with a distinct “h” sound at the beginning of the cry. Heh-heh.  (“I’m uncomfortable” to communicate stress, discomfort, or perhaps that it needs a fresh diaper. ) The sound is produced by a response to a skin reflex, such as feeling sweat or itchiness in the bum.

A newborn child crying.



Baby body language:

Crying is not the only way a newborn can communicate their needs. Your baby’s body language  can help you decipher if your newborn is hungry, full, wanting to play or sleepy. Leg and hand gestures, as well as facial expressions, convey feelings. While it’s not the same for every newborn, the majority of them will exhibit these signs.

HUNGER CUES conveying their hunger 

  •  when a newborn is hungry, their hands will be in a tight, fist-like gesture,
  •  suddenly stirring from sleep and begin gurgling
  • ‘Opening their mouth and turning their head from side to side “seeking” the breast
  •  suddenly increase their physical activity and begin kicking out, or put their hand into their mouth
  • Crying


  • Immediately after a baby finishes feeding they will be content enough to engage in play with their eyes wide and bright.
  •  a lot of eye contact and smooth non-jerky movements
  •  they will likely reach their arms towards an authority figure at the same time.


  •  yawning
  •  become disengaged in activities and lose eye contact while engaging in play, if they need a nap.
  • Frowning, become stiff and arching their back


  • The baby will stop sucking as soon as they are full   listen to them sucking on the breast or bottle, to know if they are actually taking in nutrients.
  • their hands will slowly start to loosen, resulting in a relaxed palm. This means they are full and relaxed.’

See the pictures here:

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7 Responses to Listen to your baby “talking” to tell you what is wrong. Watch their body language, too.

  1. Kelli says:

    According to

    After testing her baby language theory on more than 1,000 infants around the world, Priscilla says there are five words that all babies 0–3 months old say—regardless of race and culture:

    * Neh=”I’m hungry”
    * Owh=”I’m sleepy”
    * Heh=”I’m experiencing discomfort”
    * Eair=”I have lower gas”
    * Eh=”I need to burp”

    Check this out:

    and also this one:

  2. Redina says:

    Involve your child in everything. If you are cooking name each ingredient. Describe evry step. IT is a great way to stimulate their mind.

    “elimination communication” newborn
    How to hold a newborn baby over the potty

    babies sitting in newborn poop often get diaper rash…

  3. Redina says:

    Priscilla Dunstan The Baby Listener from Australia, was a child prodigy who could tell the differences in her sons baby sounds.

  4. Anna C. says:

    Your Baby Can Learn is a great program.
    Teach kids math concepts age 6 months.
    Read to kids-Read a page and they read a page.
    Montesorri schools are fabulous the way they teach.

  5. Burl says:

    Montessori schools are wonderful. they say talk to your baby constantly as they soak up EVERYthing. Some of these are in Tulsa.

    Your Baby Can Read seems to now be Your Baby Can Learn.

  6. T.D. says:

    Games to get a child thinking to trigger or spark curiosity.
    It is important that parents and caregivers look at the baby in the eyes when they talk to them. They are learning to talk, and they’re getting themselves ready for when they can issue those first words. So talking to the baby or reading to them is big. If the baby points at something, follow their lead.

    (Age 0-1)
    When you’re changing the child’s diaper, make funny noises to get him to giggle or coo. Then giggle and coo back at him. Try to keep going back and forth.
    The science: You’re building the connections his brain will need later on for conversation and language.

    (Ages 1-2)
    Read all you can out loud — signs, recipes or ads in a magazine. Point at words and talk about what they mean.
    The science: You’re helping the child make her first links between written words and what they stand for.
    If a 2-year-old child has a favorite song, sing a line from the song, then pause to let her try to sing the next few words. That will help teach her to listen carefully and exercise her memory.

    Ages 2-3
    As you fold the laundry, start calling the objects the wrong name or color. Call a pair of pants a “dress,” or a red shirt “purple.” See if the child can catch your mistakes.
    The science: You’re helping him learn to pay attention, to recall what he knows and to use self-control to stop copying you and say the right word.

    Ages 3-4
    Have the child pretend to be a statue while you try to make her laugh and move. Take turns as the statue.
    The science: She learns to tune out distractions to achieve a goal.

    Ages 4-5
    Make a face that expresses a feeling, say, a happy face, and ask the child to make a face that shows the opposite feeling.
    The science: He is learning empathy by trying to understand your emotion and to express his own feelings.

    Vroom tips are available at no cost to teach everyone (parents, teachers, paid caregivers grandparents, aunts, uncles) how to use simple everyday activities based on academic research, for fostering skills to stimulate a child’s learning from birth through age 5 — a crucial time of development. Certain brain skills — including paying attention, thinking flexibly and remembering things — are predictors of lifelong success.

    Once you understand how to interact with babies, toddlers and kids, using these methods, totally changes the way you behave toward them.

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