Posts tagged “rooting

Babies are Smart!

Perhaps you have already noticed … your baby is smart!

Newborn Rooting

Rooting: The Hungry Baby Cue

Even your newborn gets this praise. Babies, from Day 1 of life, are smart. They are born with a way of “talking” to us that doesn’t necessarily involve crying. Many of us think of crying as the only way babies have to let us know what they need, but that’s not true.

Body-Language Cues

Actually, your baby is born with a set of body-language cues that let you know, way before the crying starts, what your baby needs. Let’s take a look at hunger. When your baby is hungry you need to know, right? It’s good for ensuring the survival of the human race.

Rooting

So, Mother Nature gave your baby a few cues to let you know. At first, your baby may use the body-language cue known as rooting. Rooting is a combination of sucking on fingers or fists, flailing hands, and turning the head as if looking for something. These body gestures alone are reliable signals to let you know your baby is hungry.

An earlier post “How Do I Know If My Baby Is Hungry?” offers a video demonstration of rooting.

Crying Out

But if you are not able to respond right away to these signals, perhaps you are in the middle of changing your baby’s diaper, your baby will let you know in other ways that food is the number one request at that moment, not a diaper change.

So, to get your attention, and to resend the message more clearly, your baby will add short bursts of crying out … loud, but short, bursts of sound that get your attention … while still signaling with sucking on fists, flailing hands, and head turning.

Fussy-Baby Talk

If the short calls for help aren’t getting the food any faster, your baby will add fussy-baby talk to the mix. This is more like crying, but not full-on crying because your baby is still trying to signal you with the body-language cues too. That’s a lot of work to get your attention!

Full-On Crying

If the diaper change is taking longer than usual, and feeding is delayed, the only tool your baby has left is full-on crying.

It Gets Better

As you learn to recognize the early hunger cues sooner, and as changing a diaper becomes smoother and faster, your baby will be fed before full-on crying is needed. With consistent reliable baby care, your baby will also become more patient with the diaper change when hungry, knowing from experience that the routine is followed by a feeding.

Perhaps you’ve already noticed how smart your baby is, having experienced this scenario many times throughout your day. And, if your baby is yet to be delivered, you now know how smart your newborn is, and can look forward to the adventure of learning together.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN


Your Baby’s Language

Yes … your baby has a language!

Newborn Attention Looking

Baby Talk

Your baby’s language is composed of coos, cries, and body gestures universal to all babies, no matter where you are in the world. This means that your baby can “talk” to you in a language you can learn and understand.

Coos

When your baby is happy you may hear coos and babble, particularly if you initiate the “conversation” and engage your baby. Your happy, awake, newborn is capable of being engaged and paying attention. You should try it!

Cries

Crying is the sound your baby makes when something is wrong. Since your baby cannot right the wrong alone, your baby is “asking you” for help.  Not only that, but your baby makes different crying sounds in response to the different things that could be wrong. The pain cry, familiar to all of us because it sounds the same no matter the age, sounds different than the hunger cry, or the discomfort cry. You will easily learn to recognize the differences as you pay attention to your baby. The gift of repetition will enhance your learning too!

Body Gestures

Your baby also has a set of body gestures, or cues, that help you understand what your baby wants and needs. These cues usually precede crying. Learning to recognize your baby’s body language cues will help you offer food, comfort, a dry diaper, or soothing care for sleep without the need for your baby to cry. Frequent holding, wearing your baby, staring at your little miracle of life, and paying attention to your newborn’s behavior will help you learn everything you need.

For Example

One body language cue that you will quickly learn to recognize in your newborn is the rooting cue demonstrated by two-week old Vanessa in the earlier post

“How Do I Know If My Newborn Is Hungry?”

 Rooting tells you your baby is hungry … and can happen any time!

Learning your baby’s language is not as difficult as it sounds. Your baby is a good teacher. And, as mentioned above, the gift of repetition is very helpful. It’s so rewarding when you figure it out … and I have no doubt that you will!

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN


Can’t Stop Staring at Your Newborn?

The natural response to newborn babies is to stop and stare in wonder.

Your Captivating Newborn

Your Captivating Newborn

Whether your newborn is asleep or awake you’ll find you can hardly take your eyes off of your new baby. You’ll catch yourself staring at your newborn for long stretches of time without even realizing it. Your new baby is captivating, and rightly so! Perhaps this natural response serves a purpose, another clever design by Mother Nature.

Perhaps this purpose, other than the sheer pleasure it gives you, is to help you learn your baby’s cues. Recognizing body-language cues will help you learn about your baby. Being able to “read”  your baby’s behavior will help you know what your baby wants and will be very beneficial time and time again.

One baby cue that you’ve probably already discovered is the body-language cue called rooting.

Rooting consists of head turning to the side with mouth open as if “looking for something,” flailing hands, and an effort to suck on those flailing hands as coordination allows.

Rooting is an early cue (before crying) that “tells you” your baby is hungry.

Staring at your baby comes naturally. And learning your baby’s cues can come naturally to you too.

With the gift of repetition, and the unique message attached to each baby cue, you’ll soon be able to say … “When my baby does this ____it means this ____.”

So enjoy staring at your baby, as often as you can. It’s good for both of you.

 For you and yours,

 D. Fravert, RN


How Do I Know My Newborn Is Hungry?

Hunger cues let you know when your newborn is hungry.

Newborn Rooting

Rooting

Hunger Cues

Sucking, flailing hands, head turning, and an open searching mouth are early, body-language hunger cues. These particular hunger cues usually precede crying.

The cues that your baby displays, prior to crying to get your attention, are known as early baby cues. Being able to recognize these early hunger cues, as well other early baby cues, is beneficial for your baby.* Thank you Mother Nature for baby cues!

Rooting

Here is a video to demonstrate these early body-language cues for hunger. They are commonly referred to as “rooting.”

Since your newborn will want to eat about every 2 to 3 hours you will become very familiar with rooting, very quickly.

Learning to read your baby’s early body-language cues will make your life easier. Your baby will be happier overall by having basic needs met in response to early baby cues, rather than in response to crying. Your happier baby makes you happier too!

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN

Music “Touching Moments Two” Kevin MacLeod http://www.incompetech.com. ©D. Fravert, RN.

* “Crying babies: Answering the call of infant cries” by M. Faris, Texas Childcare Quarterly