I first came across Dunstan Baby Language while watching Oprah. It captured my attention as a future mom and the need to be that ”perfect” mom…but mostly out of the terror of not being able to understand my baby’s cries and it having an impact on our attachment. I did not watch the DVD before giving birth, but back home the first day, baby was crying hopelessly and i could not soothe her. It was 2 a.m. and we decided to turn on the lap top and watch the DVD. WOW… for us anyway… we were able to understand why our baby was crying, and soothe her accordingly. You need to get your ear attuned to her cries but once you get it… it’s easy and it works. Although there is no scientific validation of this technique, all that mattered to us was that it worked and it has worked for many parents. The technique can be used from newborn to about 3 months, if i recall well, while all children are the same linguistically all over the world. Australian Priscilla Dunstan identified 5 specific cries or “sound reflexes” (Neh, Owh, Heh, Eairh, and Eh). Below, taken from Wikipedia, you can read a brief description of the meaning of each cry. The beauty of the DVD is that you get to hear and watch different babies cry; it’s really a hands on demonstration, not a theoretical explanation. This is what makes it easier to learn, and discern the different cries. It was well worth the purchase (see https://www.dunstanbaby.com/). Watch the video below.
I’m hungry – An infant uses the sound reflex “Neh” to communicate its hunger. The sound is produced when the sucking reflex is triggered, and the tongue is pushed up on the roof of the mouth.
I’m sleepy – An infant uses the sound reflex “Owh” to communicate that they are tired. The sound is produced much like an audible yawn.
I’m experiencing discomfort – An infant uses the sound reflex “Heh” to communicate stress, discomfort, or perhaps that it needs a fresh diaper. The sound is produced by a response to a skin reflex, such as feeling sweat or itchiness in the bum.
I have lower gas – An infant uses the sound reflex “Eairh” to communicate they have flatulence or an upset stomach. The sound is produced when trapped air from a belch that is unable to release and travels to the stomach where the muscles of the intestine tighten to force the air bubble out. Often, this sound will indicate that a bowel movement is in progress, and the infant will bend its knees, bringing the legs toward the torso. This leg movement assists in the ongoing process.
I have gas – An infant uses the sound reflex “Eh” to communicate that it needs to be burped. The sound is produced when a large bubble of trapped air is caught in the chest, and the reflex is trying to release this out of the mouth.
See this intro on You Tube