If only babies could speak words so that we could better understand them! The reality is, babies do communicate, but they only have nonverbal communication to work with. That makes figuring out how babies feel and what they want to say even more fun. There have been several in-depth studies on how a baby communicates. This page details websites that vary in detail and style, so you can find the one which best suits your needs.

 

A Baby With No Words

This article is by far the cutest and the shortest of the three, expressing how babies can still effectively communicate even though there are no words coming from them. Babies coo, they cry, they smile, and they make uncomfortable faces. It is an adult’s job to decipher how a baby is communicating based on facial expressions, gestures, and sounds because that influences their communication skills in their future. Although a baby is not speaking words, they still need to feel like they are heard. Infants kick their legs in excitement and use sounds to express hunger. Their gestures will often use the muscles that are used for future communication. A baby can get frustrated and cry or throw a fit, but you can learn not only how to decrease these behaviors with parental bonding, but also how to help your baby reach his or her next steps in communicating.

https://www.telipa.org/baby-speech-development-communication-without-words/#:~:text=While%20adults%20and%20children%20use,legs%20in%20excitement%20or%20distress

 

More Than Words Can Say

A little bit longer in length, this article from NurseryWorld begins with an anecdote that really speaks to the rest of the text, stressing how telling nonverbal communication can be with a baby. Babies seek out communication with touch and sound as they develop an understanding of their environment and those communicating around them and directly to them. There are early signs of nonverbal communication– like yawning when tired– to more advanced forms, like an outstretched hand for wanted interaction. The article provides examples of how to positively respond to a baby’s nonverbal ways. Learn how to resolve or prevent some challenges along the way, like miscommunication and mixed messaging. (For instance, when a child points to something, it can mean a number of things other than, “I want that!”) In its conclusion, the article provides tips in detail for communicating with a baby: maintaining eye contact, using comforting touches, and modeling body language.

https://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/features/article/non-verbal-communication-babies-more-than-words

 

For the Baby Scholar

While this article is by far the longest, it is strongly researched with analysis on how a baby communicates. The paper is a thorough hypothesis about a baby’s skills and how deep their comprehension really is from birth. After experimentation, the findings of this hypothesis are laid out for your review. In a nutshell, the paper tries to crack the code of how a baby forms their communication. It is the nature vs. nurture debate at its finest, but what is most helpful here to parents is a more thorough understanding of a baby’s nonverbal communication overall, and what you can do to encourage their learning. The findings in this paper are very insightful, and the author’s conclusions can give you a better understanding of your baby’s nonverbal cues.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4123673/