Baby Crying? HELP Decoding Your Baby’s CriesKeep calm and know what your baby wants.

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  • Baby Crying? HELP Decoding Your Baby’s Cries

Baby Crying? HELP Decoding Your Baby’s Cries

Wouldn’t it be so much easier if your newborn baby came out with the ability to talk?

Communication is a tricky task when it comes to your little one. Your baby has so many different things to say but does not possess the skill to talk yet.

Checkout these great books and resources to learn about your babies crying: View All Books

And one of the ways your baby will try to communicate with you and tell you what they want is through different types of crying. All babies have different cries with varying pitches and sounds. Dunstan baby language is a popular method of trying to decode your baby’s cries, designed by Priscilla Dunstan.

Dunstan baby language features five different sound reflexes, or cries. The theory comes into play for newborn babies aged 0-3 months. Dunstan suggests that before a baby breaks down into hysterical screaming, they will try to communicate what they want through different cries. If their wishes are not answered then they will break down into a hysterical cry.

So what exactly is your baby trying to say? Dunstan baby language includes:


“Neh neh neh” – when baby makes this cry it means that they are hungry. This sound reflex occurs when the tongue is pushed up on the roof of the mouth and comes from the sucking reflex.


“Owh owh owh” – this sound is similar to a yawn and is triggered when baby is sleepy.



“Heh heh heh” – this sound means that your baby is uncomfortable in some way. It could be related to stress or to an unfamiliar situation or it could be a physical discomfort, such as due to a dirty nappy or feeling hot and sweaty.

Burp Me Please


“Ehh ehh ehh” – when your baby has a bubble of air trapped in their chest then the sound that they produce sounds a little like ‘eh.’



“Eairh eairh” – this is a tricky one to decode but the sound usually comes when your baby is trying to have a poo or get a burp out. This can often be uncomfortable for a baby and thus they may make this cry when feeling lower gas. Lifting their legs to their chest can help them push the poo out or get rid of the flatulence.

It can take time and patience to understand what your baby is trying to say and many parents will simply guess. It can also take some time to decode your baby’s cries but this method may be useful if you know what to look for.

If you are expecting a little one shortly or if you have a newborn baby that is driving you up the wall, then test out the Dunstan theory today. Many parents swear that the sound reflexes are spot on but, like everything in parenting, every baby and every experience is different.

More Reading:

Being able to decode your crying baby will help you understand what your little one might be trying to tell you! 

Baby Crying? HELP Decoding Your Baby’s Cries - Stay at Home Mum

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