How to … understand a baby

If Andrej Šifrer (a famous Slovenian singer) would write his song ‘Martinov lulcek’ now, he would give the Nobel Prize to Priscilla Dunstan, who ‘translated’ babies’ crying and their sounds into easily understandable words.

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“Why did no one inform me of this already with Amalja, e.g. at the school for parents?!” This was my first thought after yesterday’s discovery of short films ‘Dunstan’s Baby Language’ and after realising that my newborn baby is giving me a clear message through one of her five ‘baby’ words. A great relief followed… and longer and quieter night too. In the morning, I was without the dark circles around my eyes and I was more relaxed, ‘hanging’ with Bela, because now I understand what she is trying to say with her sounds before falling into hysterical crying.


Dunstan’s baby universal language consists of five words or sounds emitted by babies all over the world. They add sounds to reflexes, such as tightness in the belly, sucking… These are:

  • Neh = I’m hungry – The sound is produced when an infant pushes up the tongue on the roof of the mouth and this adds sound, just like during sucking process.
  • Eh = I need to be burped – The sound is produced when an air bubble is trapped in the chest. This discomforts the infant, therefore the baby tries to release the air out of the mouth, contracting his/her muscles, just like when they cough.
  • Owh = I’m sleepy – An infant produces this sound reflex together with yawning. Hence, the baby’s mouth is open in an oval shape.
  • Heh = I’m experiencing discomfort – An infant uses this sound reflex when he/she is cold, hot or has a full diaper… The sound is produced by a response to a skin reflex, e.g. when the baby is sweating or feels itchiness in the bum…
  • Eairh = I have lower gas or an upset stomach – When the air is trapped in the stomach or colon, an infant tightens the muscles to force the air out. This releases sound and the infant will often bend its knees, bringing the legs toward the torso and stretching them back.
If you are trapped in a vicious circle of burbs, discomfort and cramps and often asking yourself, “Perhaps he/she is hungry again?”  … then you should open these two ‘hallelujah’ videos: Dunstan Baby Language 1 and Dunstan Baby Language 2 to clarify all…


This post is also available in: Slovenian

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