Dunstan Baby Language - Interpreting your baby's cries

The Dunstan Baby Language DVD teaches you how to understand what your newborn is saying (or yelling :) by interpreting his cries. It goes over 5 kinds of cries, what they mean and what you can do to help your baby.

Believe it or not, but I've tried this with multiple babies and it really works! Generally it is only useful for babies under 3 months of age as a baby's cry often changes after this time. But, as the Baby Whisperer also mentions, if you respond to a
baby's cry correctly (put him to sleep when he is hungry instead of trying to feed him etc.) then often it will stay the same even after this time.

"Neh" means baby is hungry
 Listen for the "N" sound with this cry.

"Owh" means baby is tired
Look for baby's oval shaped mouth with this cry.

"Eh" means baby needs to be burped
Listen for an urgent "r" sound.
Burp well throughout the day to prevent lower gas air bubble pain.

"Eairh" (sounds a bit like "air") means your baby has gas pain
Listen for an urgent "r" sound
Burp often throughout the day to prevent lower gas pain.

"Heh" means baby is uncomfortable
Uncomfortable may mean baby is too hot, too cold, has a wet diaper or needs a change of position.

Additional Helpful Hints
*In the pre-cry stage it is easiest to tell what your baby is "saying".
*Sometime babies say more than one word at once. If this happens act upon the most prominent word.
*Changing a baby's position may make it easier to understand what he is saying.
*If you can't understand what your baby is saying, problem solve the situation and work on understanding him again later.
*Your baby may not say all the words listed above.

As the DVD goes over the sound that babies make and what they mean it also shows you many babies making the sounds. I found this extremely helpful and I would suggest getting this DVD if you are having a hard time interpreting your baby's cries and needs.


  1. Hi Rachel,

    I have a question about crying. I am not sure if this is where I should leave my question.

    almost 99% of the time, my DS (who turned 4 months today) cries when he awakes, very rarely that he would wake up happy...

    I followed the Baby Whisperer and trained him for about 3 - 4 weeks now. He sleeps at about 730pm to 8pm and I df him at 11 - 1130pm..then he would sleep till 6 - 630am. I tried to extend his sleep till 7am but he appears to be hungry when he woke up... so I decided to feed him anyways at 630am. I put him on a 4 hour routine recently and usually sleeps 2 hours during his first nap. The 2nd nap is an hour long but w/ PUPD and shush-pat, I could get him to sleep for another hour. His late afternoon nap is usually 1 hour long.

    It appears that he is getting enough sleep. However, he usually wakes up crying which I don't understand why. I usually go pick him up and as soon as we walk out of his room, he would stop crying.

    Is he going to outgrow this stage? I am worried that he is crying b/c he is not getting enough sleep.

    Any thoughts on that?


  2. Iris,
    If he cries even after long naps and he is sleeping well overall (seems to be) it is likely just how he is and will go away with time. It takes some babies longer to wake up happy than others, especially if they wake up real hungry and are the kind of baby to complain about that.

    Sometimes leaving baby for a short time upon waking will help him learn to be happy upon waking.


  3. I think if a baby wakes up unhappy, he isn't getting enough sleep and something is bothering him: cold, wet, hungry, dirty, teething pain, etc.

  4. My son always woke like that until he learnt to climb out of his cot to join us. He's just always hated being alone, he's a people person. My daughter loves time alone and used to lay in bed talking to herself for ages after waking.