Would you like your little one to be able to tell you what’s bothering him or what he needs and can’t wait until he grows up to be able to express in words what doesn’t satisfy him? In fact, the very young child actually sends certain messages that you can decode by carefully watching his reactions and facial expressions.
Many expect mothers to know, somehow instinctively, how their babies are feeling and what exactly they are missing. Unfortunately, as a mother, you don’t always realize why the little one is crying, and you don’t always have a magic wand to calm him down. However, you can be guided by the child’s facial expressions, which provide some clear clues about his inner feelings.
If the corners of his mouth are turned down, both eyebrows are arched, he is not crying, but his chin is shaking, then it is possible that he has an emotional affliction. Probably, he was stimulated too much. Your first instinct might be to take your child to a quieter place to calm him down, which may help. However, it would be more effective to have what is called rhythmic stimulation, in order to relax. For example, change the type of activity he does or, if he has been with his grandparents most of the day, give him time with you and go to a park, where you can let him play freely
It surprises you that suddenly, for no apparent reason, he starts screaming, crying or throwing toys, only to laugh when you react. In fact, he gets bored and feels the need for more attention from you. As a baby’s brain develops, so does his need for novelty. After he reaches the age of three months, the baby can spend hours looking at his mother’s face, but after another few months, he will need several different things to pique his interest. Keep up with him and play differently. If you sing him a song, he diversifies and speeds up the rhythm or changes some lyrics, varies the tone of his voice or adds some dance moves.
He turns red when crying, keeps his eyes closed, pushes you or even hits you. What he wants to convey to you is that he is angry. In babies, the brain is not yet developed enough for feelings like shame or jealousy. If he cries without being able to be comforted with something and you are sure that it is not an illness that gives him pain, it is possible that he becomes angry because of tiredness or hunger. Keep a calm tone of voice and offer food or help him to sleep.
When you see him standing as if frozen, with a frozen gaze or suddenly starts crying and shaking, it is possible that something has scared him. It is difficult for him to calm himself, especially if the noise produced is something completely new to him. It can be a car horn or a drill from a neighbor, which for a baby can be something terrifying. Hug him while talking to him calmly and tell him what’s going on. Even if he doesn’t understand the explanation, the tone of your voice will reassure him, from which he will understand that he has no reason to worry.
Does he raise and lower his eyebrows, widen his eyes, part his mouth, scream and look in a certain direction? You have every indication that he is surprised by something. Maybe you’re doing something new for him or you’re holding an object he’s never seen before. Let him study the thing at his leisure and show him how to use it, or allow him to invent a different way of using it. Encourage him to have new experiences by describing what he sees, because it helps him develop his brain. When the nine-month-old or one-year-old baby begins to point to various objects with his finger, it means that he has reached the stage where he is curious to learn more about what surrounds him. It’s the perfect time to talk to him about them, what they’re called and how they work, because he’s very responsive.
Is his face scrunched up and as if he’s mumbling? Either something is bothering him, like a dirty diaper, or he’s focused on passing gas or a stool. Whether he needs to eat or be changed, when he grunts it’s clear that he’s trying to find a way out of his situation. If you don’t know how to soothe him, if the diaper is not his problem, there is nothing better than a tummy massage.
When the little one follows you with his gaze or has his eyes fixed on you, when you hold him in your arms and bring his face very close to yours, he will smile and make you laugh. There are signs that he is curious to catch your every reaction, that he wants your full attention and that he does not intend to give it up anytime soon. It is funny for the parents when the child keeps staring at them while moving around the room in which he is.