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Reading your baby's behaviour

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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.

 

Organised Behaviours

 

Quiet alert

Active sleep

Quiet sleep

Open face

Cooing/smiling

Smooth limb movement

Hand to mouth

Sucking

Trunk tucking

Foot anchor or hand clasping

 

Disorganised Behaviours

Crying/whining

Low level alertness/drowsy

Fussing/struggling

Finger splay/halt             hands

Facial grimace or frowning

Gaze aversion

Startle

Panicked or worried look

Tongue thrusts or protrusion

Hiccups/yawning

Spitting/vomiting

Grasping/pulling at clothes or holding on