Before they can talk, naturally, babies will use gestures and nonverbal communication. Body language that is so innate, that it has become so accepted into our society, that we don’t even know that we’re are reading signals and giving them out all the time.
Studies have shown that 60% of all communication is based on gestures. Sixty percent! That’s mind-blowing. These include the tiniest things like; pupils dilating, increased rate of breathing to more obvious ones like smiling, scowling, and laughing. YOUR baby is an expert on the use and understanding of body language, they have no other means of communication. Until they learn to speak children are completely dependent on body language.
Even after they learn to speak, actions play a HUGE roll in their lifelong communication skills. For parents with new babies, how great would it be if you were more tuned in to what your child is trying to express? Life-changing even? Your child’s cry quickly become a major point of concern. What do they want? Are they tired? Hungry? Uncomfortable? This is when being able to interpret your child’s other signals can become incredibly helpful.
For most parents, most of our responses are completely instinctive, your child cries and you probably can’t sit still for long. Who can see a smiling baby and not smile back?
From the moment your little one arrived everything they do helps to ensure that they are looked after and protected. There are powerful biological forces urging us to protect our DNA, to cherish and care for the helpless child in front of us. It is our sacred duty as parents and caregivers to love them and nurture them as best we can. We want them to listen to us and a great way to encourage this is to show them how gratifying it is when they are listened to and understood. When you know what your child is trying to say you can better understand their motivations and instil in them the idea that you need to empathize to understand them, this is so important to a child.
Learning about your Baby’s body language will not only help you to know them better, but it will also help you appreciate how your own actions can foster their development. Simple gestures often teach appropriate reactions. For example, when you are feeding a child, you often chew along and swallow with them to teach them the proper actions for eating. When you hold a baby doll you do so gently to show them how to treat something smaller than them. My husband, very adorably, moves his lips along with our kids as they are trying to sound out new words, he is instinctively setting an example, while also willing them along and subtly helping and encourgaing them.
By learning more about non-verbal communication it will give you a much better understanding of how your child feels and why they do certain things, and what these choices mean anything that can teach you something about yourself, empathize and feel closer to your child is worth exploring.