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Helping new parents recognise baby’s cues and understand what pēpi is trying to communicate.

Even very young babies can communicate what they need and want. It’s up to their parents to learn their special language. This is called ‘reading baby’s cues’.

Learning about baby’s cues

Recognising the cues and understanding what pēpi needs can be a steep learning curve for new parents. If their attempts to soothe baby are unsuccessful, it can add more stress to sometimes tired and anxious parents.

Ask whānau:

  • How have you been doing with figuring out what pēpi needs?
  • How do you approach it?

Learning from other parents

Hearing from other parents about how they worked out what baby was trying to communicate can be helpful.

Watch ‘The early days’ video clip 'When your baby cries'.(external link)

Familiarise yourself with the video before you watch it with whānau so you can support the discussion well.

Arrange things with whānau ahead of time so that you have the right technology to view the video.

After watching the video together, use some of these questions to prompt discussion with whānau, and to help them understand baby’s crying:

  • What did these parents learn about their babies?
  • Why do babies cry?
  • What are they trying to tell us?
  • What can parents do?
  • How do we learn to understand them?
  • What have you experienced?
  • What do your baby’s cries sound like?
  • What do their cries mean?
  • Do you have any other ideas about baby’s crying?

How does this relate to Tākai resources?

Baby wall frieze – Kōrero mai, e aroha ana koe ki ahau – Tell me you love me(external link)

Six things children need – Te aroha me te mahana – Love and warmth(external link)

Helpful resources for whānau