Baby’s First Communication - Understanding the Cues

Baby’s First Communication - Understanding the Cues
Photo by Jenean Newcomb / Unsplash

Your baby’s first cry is the start of communication with you through body language. They cry to let you know they are hungry, sleepy, uncomfortable, or anxious.

Margaret Wallis-Duffy is a Registered Massage Therapist and Internationally Certified Infant Massage Instructor.

The challenge for parents on their parenting journey is understanding their child’s unspoken language. Before a baby can communicate through verbal language, nature equips them with ability to communicate their needs and desires through body language. When you understand this new language, it can be much easier to respond to your child’s needs and improve your parenting skills.

Understanding Baby Cues

This physical form of communication (body language) can be divided into three main categories:

Engagement Cues - suggest baby is neurologically, physically and emotionally content with their environment at that point in time. Ie. Bright clear eyes, head in neutral position, arms and legs moving in a synchronized fashion, cooing rhythmical sounds and a smile.

Disengagement Cues - suggest baby is unhappy neurologically, physically, or emotionally with their current environment for a myriad of reasons. Ie. Turning head with intention to one side or the other, general fussiness. a-synchronized movements of the arms and legs, staccato voice sounds

Over stimulation Cues- Deliberate and extreme arching of the back, hiccups. an "academy award winning" cough designed to grab your attention, jerky or frantic like movements, wanting to be held, wanting to nurse more frequently.

Baby massage

Effective tool to communicate your love and begin to understand your baby’s body language.

A parent-empowering baby massage program with your baby teaches you the baby’s cues they deliver in the form of body language.

Initially, we may administer baby massage to bond with our baby or to help with a variety of conditions such as gas/colic, teething or sleep disturbances. As our child grows, the techniques you learn in this program can also help with growing pains, anxiety, body awareness and even aches and pains due to involvement in sports and recreation.

As a Registered Massage Therapist and Internationally Certified Baby Massage Instructor, Margaret has seen the concern parents have for their babies as they struggle to understand what their baby is trying to tell them. Are they hungry, tired, sad, have gas, are overstimulated, or simply want to change their position?

This is the challenge that every new parent face as they try their best to meet their baby’s needs. Baby can help you start understanding your baby’s cues. Whether they are engagement cues when your baby is happy and ready to play or disengagement cues that say your baby is neurologically unhappy and they need to be comforted in some way.

Baby Massage

Although every baby is unique, they do share body language cues. Body language is a universal language that enables babies to communicate their needs before they can speak.

Being aware of your baby’s cues will not only help you to provide a successful massage but it will also enhance your parenting skills as you understand what your baby is trying to tell you and respond to their needs according. Implementing baby massage into your daily routine can help to improve your parent/child bond as well as improve the health and development of your baby.

Margaret is available to facilitate a virtual baby massage class in your community or perhaps you would like to book a one on one consult with her to explore how she can help you address particular concerns you have with your child.

If you baby is struggling with gas/colic or teething, check out her online learning module at

To book a virtual consult with Margaret, visit

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