Babies are mysterious little things. They can be cooing with joy one minute, and crying hysterically the very next. You may feel overwhelmed and confused. Don’t worry - you are not alone.
Your newborn is adjusting to his new environment, which you can call his ‘moods’. If you see this as his attempt to talk to you using non-verbal communication, you will understand these mood changes better.
Your baby’s moods can be divided into four basic categories.
When your baby feels sleepy, she will continuously open and close her eyes, and lose interest in playing. Her breathing may change, and she may have trouble keeping her head up. Some babies also become irritable when they are sleepy. It’s time to give your baby a break and put her down for a nap so she is well-rested for play time again.
When your baby seems relaxed, calm, and happy, this is a state of quiet alert. She is ready to socialize, mingle and explore her environment. She will stare at you, follow your voice, and even interact with you if she is old enough. You can relax at this time, but keep your eye on the baby, as she will tire easily and may need to take rest sooner than you think.
Babies get irritable for many reasons. You will see the baby squirming and fussing, and unhappy with everything. Sometimes, it is because she is tired from play, but doesn’t want to stop. Other times, she may be hungry. Or maybe the baby has an upset tummy. Find out what is causing the discomfort, and address the issue to bring your happy, smiling baby back.
Crying is one way for babies to express distress. They may be really hungry, or uncomfortable, and this is their way of getting your immediate attention. Try to soothe and calm your baby by addressing her needs. She may need to be fed, or she may need a diaper change. Rocking and bouncing the baby also works sometimes if the reason for the discomfort is not immediately clear.
Every baby is different, of course, and it is only a matter of time till you understand what your baby is trying to tell you. No one understands the baby better than the mother, such is the bond, and you will soon find this is the most precious thing in the world.