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Baby body language - translation

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May 24th, 2010, 07:37 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 3,389
I just typed this out in case it would help anybody, but as I suspected, it hasn't pasted well from Word into this post. If anyone wants a copy that has the columns aligned etc, just PM me your email address!! This is taken from what has been my 'Baby Bible' for all my babies : "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer - How to calm, connect and communicate with your baby" by Tracy Hogg with Melinda Blau.

If you want to know a bit more about the book there is a post on the April 2010 Playroom titled "Baby Whisperer" where a few ladies have discussed some of the book's techniques in a little detail. I know there are a million books out there - this is one I can highly recommend to help to get to know your baby and what he/she needs. I couldn't find my copy this time round and finally I found it wedged between a stack of magazines (just as I was about to go online to buy another copy as I was desperate!) and it's already helped so much with Layla.

(Excuse typing mistakes - don't have time to check it over!)

Body Language Translation


Moves from side to side - Tired

Turns away from object - Needs a change of scenery

Turns to side and cranes neck back - Hungry
(mouth agape)

If in an upright position, nods, like a -Tired
Person falling asleep on a subway


Red, bloodshot - Tired

Slowly close and spring open; slowly
close again and spring open again---and again - Tired

“Seven-mile stare” – eyes wide, and unblinking,
as if they’ve been propped open with toothpicks - Overtired; overstimulated


Yawn - Tired

Lips pursed - Hungry

The appearance of a scream but no sound comes out; -Has wind or other pain
finally, a gasp precedes an audible wail

Bottom lip quivers - Cold

Sucks tongue - Self-soothing, sometimes mistaken for hunger

Curls tongue at the sides - Hungry; the classic “rooting” gesture

Curls tongue upward, like a little lizard; - Has wind or other pain
Not accompanied by sucking


Grimacing, often scrunched up, like chewed
Toffee, if lying down, may also start to pant, roll her eyes
and make an expression that resembles a smile - Has wind or other pain; or is having bowel movement

Red; veins at temples may stand out - Left to cry too long, caused by holding
breath; blood vessels expand


Hands brought up to mouth, trying to suck them - Hungry, if baby hasn’t eaten in 2 ½ to 3 hrs; Otherwise, needs to suckle

Playing with fingers - Needs a change of scenery

Flailing and very uncoordinated, may claw at skin - Overtired; or has wind

Arms shaking, slight tremor - Has wind or other pain


Arches back, looking for breast or bottle - Hunger

Squirms, moving bottom from side to side - Wet nappy or cold; could also be wind

Goes rigid - Has wind or other pain

Shivers - Cold


Clammy, sweaty - Overheated; or has been left to cry too long, which also causes body to expel heat and energy

Bluish extremities - Cold, or has wind or other pain and has been left to cry too long; as body expels heat and energy, blood is drained from extremities

Tiny goose pimples - Cold


Strong, uncoordinated kicking - Tired

Pulled up to chest - Has wind or other abdominal pain

Thanks to Meganpixel for my beautiful siggie!

Last edited by mum74; May 24th, 2010 at 07:43 PM.
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May 25th, 2010, 10:21 AM
*SamF*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 16,621
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Sounds like a cool book.

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June 2nd, 2010, 03:31 PM
Sasix's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Maryland
Posts: 12,034
This is great!! Thanks for sharing with us.

Thanks Jaidynsmum for another perfect siggy!!
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