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Home PARENTING Trick, Tips & Tools Learn Baby Cry Sounds – Understand Baby’s Needs

Do you believe it that some men are born to be daddies? These men have the natural talent to parent child, they love to learn anything about a baby and in one simple sentence – these men love babies! I am lucky, I met one. He is my super hero, also my partner in crime ;)
Recently, I met another man. Well, another man that demonstrated the quality of an in-borne daddy :). I brought Austin for a play date with BabyT. BabyT’s dad happened to be around on that day. Since Austin was preoccupied with Baby’T’s toys, I took this chance to hold BabyT. BabyT is a calm and sweet little girl. Sometimes she smiled at me but most of the times, she was gazing at me. As I was playing with her, out of sudden she weeped. Sensing something was not right, I handled BabyT over to her daddy. BabyT’s mommy gazed at the clock, “Oh, it is time for milk!”. Yeah, I am devoted to clock as well – faithfully yours. While BabyT was snuggling with her daddy, she screamed “wawawa neh” then “waawaaawa”. BabyT’s dad concluded, “Yes! She wants milk!”. Without hesitant, BabyT gulped the milk in bottle as we watched.

Back in my mind, I was impressed. How did BabyT’s dad was so certain that milk was all she wanted. He is a new dad in the club! Perhaps, I shall send my superhero here to learn his secrets. Then, he started telling me about Dunstan Baby Language. Characterized by an Australian mezzo-soprano Priscilla Dunstan, Dunstan Baby Language works to determine the need of each cry. Each sound is different as  it is created based on the reflex. For instance when baby is hungry, naturally he/she creates a sucking reflex hence producing the sound “neh”. The five basic sounds developed in Dunstan Baby Language are

Neh – means baby is hungry or wants milk
Owh – need nap/sleep
Eh – need to be burped
Heh – discomfort experience
Eairh – upset stomach or trapped gas in the intestines

If you are living in Malaysia/Singapore, I believe you heard that some Chinese parents refer ‘nen nen’ as milk when speaking to their baby. And “oh-orh” (sounds similar to owh) is their baby colloquial for sleep. Apparently, all these tie!

Baby does talk! I have to listen more :)

'Baby crying’ Clip art: Courtesy of

p.s. Learn here on more tips to calm crying/fussy baby with babywearing.


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