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How To Learn To Effectively Understand Your Newborn Baby

Just because your newborn baby can't talk to you, it doesn't mean he or she isn't trying to communicate from the very first days of their life.

Not knowing what our babies want when they're very young can be incredibly frustrating and perhaps even a little upsetting if they're crying. We feed them, change them, wind them, do everything we can possibly think of to soothe them and nothing works. If only they could just tell us what they need.

The truth is, even though they can't verbalize what's wrong, babies do have a number of ways of telling their parents that they need something. Dr. Kevin Nugent of the Children's Hospital Boston and his colleagues have actually devised a list of ways in which parents can try to understand what their babies are "saying." They're called Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO), and there are 18 of them in total.

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Your little ones will be using a number of these forms of communication long before they utter their first words. The list includes actions such as hand grabs, visual response to faces, and orientation to sounds such as a rattle or your voice. You can read through the entire list by heading to The Irish Times. Spotting these and responding to them is key to building a bond between you and our baby.

That bond is much more important than some people might realize. We have heard many parents say they didn't feel that bond form until a couple of years had passed and their children could converse with them. The issue with that is how much your child's brain will have developed during that time. By the age of three, a child will have already reached somewhere between 80-90% of its adult volume.

It can be easy to think that for the first year or so of a baby's life that there is no way of communicating with them. However, that is truly not the case. Most parents will be desperate to form that bond, and you might not realize it, but your baby is too. They appear self-centered and act as if the world revolves around them, but all they really want is to know you are there, that they're loved, and that he or she is forming a bond with those who love them.

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