Dunstan Baby Language ~ Dunstan Baby Cries


Dunstan Baby Cries

Babies begin communicating with us from the moment they are born. So why don’t more of us make an effort to learn what they are saying?

If you were on holiday somewhere foreign, you’d probably make the effort to learn even a few basic words and phrases of the local language. 

Learning the Dunstan Baby Cries during pregnancy gives you an enormous headstart on bonding with your soon-to-be baby.

I’ve seen the incredible benefits parents get when they learn the Dunstan Baby cries, and the spin-off benefits to their baby such as:

  • understanding of their baby’s needs (and the speed they can respond) faster;
  • increasing the attachment between baby and parent; and also
  • parental self confidence – which may decrease the risk of post-natal depression.

Once baby has arrived there are some specific ways which young babies begin to communicate with you.

From the day they are born, they begin making Dunstan Baby Cries

That’s because the ‘words’ are actually reflex sounds that come from the body expressing it’s needs. For example, when a baby is breastfeeding, they suck on the breast moving their tongue up to the top of their mouth. So, when they are hungry, the baby mimics this action.

The action causes a sound to be made. Which is the sound ‘Neh’, the Dunstan Baby Language Cry for ‘Hungry’

Around 5 weeks of age they begin to make eye contact and smile at you.

Since their vision is still quite blurry, they are actually responding to your voice, your smell, your gentle touch. They begin to articulate some deliberate sounds as well (not only the reflexive Dunstan Baby Cries). Babies start with the vowel sounds – eeee, ooo, aaah etc. They will love it if you respond back.

You’ll notice that very early babies pick up the idea of conversation ie they will ‘say’ some coo-ing to you and then stop – they are waiting for you to reply. When you do, then they will respond – pretty amazing at just a few weeks old!

Around 6-7 months babies will begin to babble

They will generally start with either ‘b’ or ‘d’ sounds as is ‘baba’ or ‘dada’ = at this age the ‘words’ have no meaning but are sounds which they have been able to make. B and D are the easiest to articulate. When they have mastered them, they generally move on to ‘m’ and ‘n’ as in mama or and nana.

And then around about 8-9 months of age things get exciting when they do Variegated Babbling. This is when they start to combine sounds and you may end up with something like ‘baba ma dada’.

The next step comes when they repeat ‘word’ consistently for the same person or object, so by 12 months they will usually know that the word ‘da’ belongs to Dad and ‘bo’ might refer to bottle.

What they understand (Receptive Language) is far greater than what they can actually articulate (Expressive Language). They will respond when you say: “Are your ready for your bath?’ and will show excitement – even they can’t yet respond with words.

How can you help your baby to learn communication skills?

Most importantly, listen and respond. So whether they are making smiling at you, coo-ing or babbling they are telling you something and will benefit greatly when you gently respond.

  • Talk to your baby by telling them what you are doing. For example, ‘Mommy’s changing your nappy now. I’m going to clean you up and make you feel so much better.’ A young baby won’t know the word you use but will enjoy your interaction.
  • Talk to them when you are doing chores such as shopping and tell them what you are doing – again it is about engaging with your child.
  • The more parents communicate with their babies the better. More language going in means the language coming out when you little one begins to talk will be richer and more developed.


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