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My Top Recommendation For New Parents
Learn what your child is communicating.
My number one recommendation for new parents is to take the Dunstan Baby Language course.
This is not an ad, affiliate, or sponsorship. I just really like this course.
It helped me as a new parent. It might help you too.
The Dunstan Baby Language course teaches you what your infant is saying. Yes, really. The Dunstan Baby Language breaks down infant communication into five universal sound reflexes. Each sound corresponds to a need that all infants experience, like being tired, hungry, having gas, etc. (You should get the course to learn them, but they are listed on the Wikipedia page.)
The woman who created the course was an opera singer who noticed that infants made certain shapes with their mouths when they felt certain needs. For example, when tired babies yawn. When they make a sound while their mouth is in a circular yawn it makes an “Owh” sound. If your baby is making “Owh” sounds, it is likely that they are communicating to you “I’m tired” and the need for sleep.
As these needs become greater, the sound gets louder. At first, there is a normal volume communication of the need. If you were to tell someone “I’m hungry” and they didn’t respond or hear you, you might repeat yourself louder until they heard you. Babies are the same. At first, they say, “I’m hungry.” Then, “I’m hungry!” Then, “I’M HUNGRY!” until eventually they are screaming it at you and you have a tantrum on your hands. However, if you know what they are saying and can identify and meet their needs when they speak them quietly the first time, you can avoid the screaming and keep your child happy.
The Dunstan Baby Language was wildly accurate for our child. Every child is different, so you’ll have to learn what their expression of each sound sounds like. For example, our child’s “I’m tired” and “I’m uncomfortable” often sounded similar, and he would sometimes switch between the two if experiencing both at the same time. (“I’m tired and uncomfortable.”) Yet we were usually able to fulfill his needs early and avoid the extended crying horror stories many had warned us about before we became parents.
In addition to helping parents and children, I believe the course is also important in establishing that infants are communicating. In my book Children’s Justice, I talk about how adults often engage in epistemic violence against infants by ignoring their communication because it doesn’t come in the form of adult language. Yet the Dunstan Baby Language shows that infants are communicating and they are communicating in ways we could understand if we put in the work to listen.
Get the Dunstan Baby Language Course here.