Being able to read your baby’s behavior has many benefits for you both. By communicating by gesture and expression our babies tell us how they are coping and indicate what they need. For us as parents, it’s so helpful to be able to tell what our baby wants and then provide it for them.
Ultimately you want your baby to have lots of organised behaviours and not too many disorganised behaviours. If they are displaying disorganised behaviours then that’s our cue to support them by providing food, clean nappy, less stimulation, sleep time or a cuddle.
When babies are displaying organised behaviours we know that they are happy and content. These can be awake or asleep. When awake, an organised baby is happy to interact with you and/or their environment. Their brains are ready for stimulation and learning.
Learning is pretty tiring for babies though so you may find that they move to disorganised behaviours to show you when they’ve had enough. Once you become familiar with these behaviours you’ll find it much easier to pick the best times to communicate and play with your little one and it will be clear when you’re baby has had enough too. This sensitive awareness of your baby’s state is called attunement and it’s incredibly important in building strong attachment, strong brains and strong emotional regulation for life.
Smooth limb movement
Hand to mouth
Foot anchor or hand clasping
Low level alertness/drowsy
Finger splay/halt hands
Facial grimace or frowning
Panicked or worried look
Tongue thrusts or protrusion
Grasping/pulling at clothes or holding on