5 Useful Tips That Will Help You Understand Your Baby's Body Language

January 20, 2022

Here are a few useful tips on how you can understand baby's body language and gestures.

It can be difficult to understand your baby. They don't speak the same language you do, they are still learning how to move around and use their hands. But there's one thing you can always count on: they will communicate with their body!

How to understand baby's body language

5 Useful Tips That Will Help You Understand Your Baby's Body Language

    Babies communicate through body language

    When babies want something, they'll let you know by making gestures or using their bodies in certain ways. It may take some time for both of you to learn these signals but it is well worth the effort because once learned, this communication system will help bond you more closely together as parents and children.

    1. Baby wants food

    If your baby is hungry, they will stick out their tongue and lick their lips to show you. This gesture rarely fails – it works for both breastfed and bottle-fed babies, as long as the milk or milk formula is warm enough. 

    Some babies, especially if they are hungry or they have been crying for a while, may open their mouths wide as if to yawn. This is because the muscles of the jaw are contracting in preparation for something they expect. It's also common for them to make little licking motions with their tongue.

    If you offer your baby a spoonful of food and they refuse to eat, do not force them. You will know when the baby is hungry by looking for the abovementioned clues. You can research this topic further online and visit a doctor in case you notice something unusual in your baby's behavior.

    2. Baby wants attention

    A baby who does not want to be ignored can clap their hands or slap the highchair tray to get your attention. If you ignore her, she might even slap her own face or head. Hitting yourself like this is not a harmful form of self-inflicted punishment – babies do it to attract attention and it's an attempt at communication.

    Baby under a blanket using body language to get attention
    Photo courtesy of Unsplash

    A baby might also turn their back on you as a way of saying they want your company and your attention and will respond positively when you respond to them. If they do this, try not to take it personally or feel rejected. They are simply communicating with you in the only way they know how!

    3. Bored baby

    If your baby is getting cranky and bored, he may start flapping his hands as if trying to fly. This gesture lets you know that he's feeling a bit overstimulated and needs to calm down. You can help him relax by changing his position or engaging him in a new activity.

    Boredom is often the reason for a baby to start banging his head against pillows, crib slats, walls, or other objects. Babies bang their heads when they have no other way of letting you know they are bored and want your attention. They may also do this if they want to sleep but it's too early for their nap times.

    Babies who experience trouble sleeping at night find comfort in rubbing their eyes because the act of rubbing sends a soothing massage to the brain that says, "I'm tired, I need to sleep."

    4. The baby is feeling under-stimulated

    If your baby seems to be fidgeting all the time or spends too much time whacking his legs against surfaces, he may be telling you that he needs more stimulation. There are many ways you can activate him so he gets the sensory input he requires for healthy development. Some ideas include tummy time, laying under a play gym, patting his back while he's lying down, etc.

    Baby sucking on a cube to get attention
    Photo courtesy of Unsplash

    If your baby is not particularly fidgety but spends more time yawning or rubbing her eyes than she does smiling at you, it may be that she needs some help staying alert. Babies are quickly bored by anything they have seen many times before, so try introducing new toys or other objects to keep them interested.

    Sometimes babies yawn when they are tired, but it can also indicate boredom, overstimulation, or even hunger. This is often the case when a baby suddenly goes from being calm and happy to agitated, whiny, and eventually exhausted. Take your baby's mood shifts into consideration before attributing them to over-or under-stimulation.

    5. Baby is ill

    If you notice that your baby is drooling a lot, has a stiffened posture with his arms bent toward the body and hands clenched into fists, and seems to be rubbing his face almost constantly, he may have caught a cold or some other illness. You can comfort him by cleaning the drool with a baby wipe and then placing your hand on his forehead to see if he has a fever.

    Colds make babies' noses runny and congested, so they constantly need to rub their noses against things in order to gain relief. If your baby seems to be rubbing his nose often and breathing through the mouth, it may indicate a cold or another respiratory ailment.


    It is important to be able to read your baby's body language in order to understand what they are trying to communicate. Babies use a variety of gestures and movements to get their point across, and if you know what to look for, you can usually figure out what is wrong or why they are upset. 

    If you're ever unsure about something, don't hesitate to ask other parents or consult with your pediatrician.

    Useful tips to help parents understand baby's body language

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    1 comment

    1. Thank you for sharing po about sa meaning ng body language ng kids perfect to lalo na sa mga wala pa idea or sa meron pa lang 1st baby.