Understanding your baby’s signals can create a completely different parenting experience for you. On this week’s episode of Sense by Meg Faure, I delve into the fascinating subject of why and how to read our babies. As an Occupational Therapist, author, and baby expert, I’m here to share valuable insights to help you navigate the journey of parenthood. Join me as I explore the importance of decoding your baby’s signals and how it can strengthen your bond while boosting your confidence as a parent.
Babies have their own unique language, and deciphering their signals is key to creating a nurturing and supportive environment. By understanding their cues, we can help them feel connected, secure, and heard. But it’s not just about the baby; it benefits parents too. As caregivers, one of the ways we measure our effectiveness is through our ability to soothe and calm our little ones. When we become skilled at reading their signals, we can avoid excessive crying and restlessness, which, in turn, enhances our confidence as effective parents.
So, let’s dive into the world of understanding baby signals.
The 6 Infant Stages
To help you along this journey, I want to introduce you to the concept of the six infant states, a theory developed by T. Berry Brazelton. These states describe the different stages babies go through in cycles every day, offering valuable insights into their needs and behaviours.
Deep Sleep State
First up is the Deep Sleep State, also known as “quiet sleep.” This is when your baby is completely relaxed, sleeping soundly without much movement. By recognizing this state, you can avoid disrupting their deep sleep, allowing them to recharge and grow.
Active Sleep State
Next, we have the Active Sleep State, characterized by rapid eye movements (REM) and occasional facial twitches or body movements. During this state, your baby may appear to be lightly sleeping, preparing for the next phase of wakefulness.
The Drowsy State is when your little one starts showing signs of becoming sleepy. They may be drifting off to sleep, but not quite there yet. This is the perfect time to create a soothing environment and gently guide them into a peaceful slumber.
Calm Alert State
In the Calm Alert or Quiet Alert State, your baby is awake and calmly taking in their surroundings. This is a great opportunity for interaction and bonding, as they are receptive to engaging with you.
Active Alert State
The Active Alert State is when your baby is fully awake, alert, and actively exploring their environment. During this state, they are more sensitive to stimuli, so it’s important to provide appropriate stimulation to keep them engaged and interested.
Lastly, we come to the Crying State. This is when your baby communicates their needs, discomfort, or frustration through crying. Understanding the reasons behind their cries and responding with care and comfort is crucial during this state.
By familiarizing yourself with these six infant states, you gain valuable insights into what signals to look for and how to respond appropriately.
Parent with sense
Remember, understanding your baby’s signals is a journey that takes time and practice. By nurturing this connection, you’ll create a strong bond and foster a calm and loving environment for your little one to thrive. For more information about your baby’s state and signals, get a copy of my book, Baby Sense or download Parent Sense.
Parent Sense will help you to recognise your baby’s signals and get them into a predictable schedule using the Responsive Routine feature. It’s the easiest way to read your baby and know what they need next. Listen to the podcast for more and stay tuned for more episodes of Sense by Meg Faure where we’ll continue exploring the wonderful world of parenting together.