Did anyone watch Oprah today? If not, there was an ‘expert’ on talking about the secret language of babies. Because she was born with auditory photographic memory, then had a baby, she has discovered that babies around the world have this secret language. I will admit, the fact that all babies around the world, regardless of colour, country or language share the same language is fascinating. Too bad on the show there were no Asian, Inuit, British, Egyptian nor parents who spoke anything other than English to showcase this point. What I also wonder, is has this ‘language’ really been a secret?
As a first time mother to a 6 week old, I can definately say that I am no expert. Through trial and error we are together figuring things out. Even with the dreaded pregnancy brain graduated to baby brain, I have still been able to figure out a few key things about babies (no photographic memory required) Babies sleep. Babies eat. Babies poop. Babies cry when they need sleep. Babies cry when they are hungry. Babies cry when they are pooping or are sitting in poop. Oh, and they like to burp. Sometimes they even sleep, eat, poop and burp at the same time!
In comes the ‘expert’ to tell me that there are particular sounds that are telling me exactly what baby needs. ‘Neh’ means hunger. ‘Heh’ means discomfort. ‘Eh’ means burp required. ‘Owh’ means sleepy. ‘Eair’ means gassy. While if asked, I would never be able to tell you the exact sound my baby makes with each need, I am beginning to distinguish between the cries. And get this, if I get it wrong, I try the next need. There are five people! Only five, so I would have it figured out eventually without any long term traumatic effect to my child.
Fortunately for my non photographic mind for sound, I have the ability to use my other senses to figure out baby:
Mouth gaping open fish-like, head leaning to the side= Hungry
Give her a kiss and she sucks madly on nose= Hungry
Poo leaking out sides of diaper= Discomfort
Foul smell arising from butt= Discomfort
Mouth puckered in a whistle= Pooping
Face fire engine red, eyes squinting tight= Gassy
Milky vomit launches itself 2 feet out of mouth= Gassy, Burpy & will be Hungry again soon
Lying on side, lifts top leg= Farting
See, I have got this figured out without any secret language. For all the subtlety in cry variations, I may as well be learning Mandarin. There, the word ba, can be said in 4 different ways, meaning 4 different things. Back to Baby-ese. Eh, heh, neh, eair, owh eh? I am a sleep deprived, baby brained new mom who has niether the time nor inclination to listen for these fine distinctions.
If ever I do graduate to be an ‘expert’, I will most definately add a 6th category. It will be known simply as ‘E I E I O’. Because my girls auditory skills far surpass only 5 words. “And on this farm she has a horse…” My girl neighs, whinnying like a horse. She snorts like a pig and squeaks like a mouse. She quacks too, even if that noise comes out her butt. Only once these noises are deciphered, will I believe any secret has been revealed. Until then, I will watch, listen and all too often, smell for the signs!