Decode your baby’s cries with DBL

Wouldn’t life be easier if your baby came out being able to speak? So many tears saved, by both baby and Mum!

Unfortunately babies can’t speak, and crying is the only way they can communicate with you. An experienced mum may tell you that the cries can be quite different, and they can often identify a “tired cry” from a “hungry cry”.httpss://

Dunstan Baby Language (known as DBL) is a popular way of trying to learn what your baby is telling you. I can honestly say I only wish I knew about DBL when my little one was a new baby. Boy did I struggle!

From the DBL website:

For 8 years, worldwide research was conducted that finally validated a remarkable idea: that every baby made these same 5 sounds before they cried out. And each cry meant baby needed something specifically. All you had to do was listen to the cry and respond to your baby before the crying escalated.

Sounds so simple doesn’t it?

DBL operates on the presumption that there are 5 particular cries, or sound reflexes, all made by babies aged 0-3 months.

So what exactly is your baby trying to tell you? DBL’s 5 cries are:
  • Tired cry sounds like “owh owh owh” – this sound is similar to a yawn and is triggered when baby is sleepy.
  • Hunger cry sounds like “neh neh neh”. When your baby is making this sound it means they are hungry. This sound comes from baby pushing his or her tongue up onto the roof of their mouth and is related to the sucking reflex.
  • Windy cry sounds like “ehh ehh ehh” when your baby has a bubble of air trapped in their chest then the sound that they produce sounds a little like ‘eh.’
  • Uncomfortable cry sounds like “heh heh heh” – this cry means baby is uncomfortable – too hot? Too cold? Soiled nappy?
  • Gassy sounds like “Eairh eairh” – apparently this is the most difficult sound to decode but the sound usually relates to your baby needing to burp or pass wind/do a poo. It might coincide with baby looking uncomfortable and pulling his or her legs up.

It can take a bit of time and patience to learn to understand what your baby is saying but its a nice way to pass the time and at least try and communicate a little better and that’s gotta be a good thing for both of you and a nice way to bond.

For the Mums playing at home who like electronica – of course there’s an app!

If you try DBL come back and let us know how you go!