The TL; DR: Expectant parents often wonder how they’ll know what their babies need, and new parents often wonder why their baby is crying and what they could do to figure out their needs before they cry. Newborn cues are instinctive behaviors that babies display which help us to figure out what they need. This YouTube video (which you are welcome to share in classes or in one-on-one appointments, or link to from your website) provides an overview of newborn cues. (Here’s a link you can share: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiV_uXOg6Bg)
The Story Behind the Video
As a first-time parent back in 1993, I was clueless.. it seemed like my baby would go from 0 to 60 from happy to miserable in a moment. Years later, I watched videos of his early days, and saw that he was giving SO MANY cues about his needs that I missed until he escalated to screaming. So, when I started teaching newborn care classes in ’99, I always incorporated information about newborn cues.
Back in 2010, I put together some YouTube clips as a “Name that Cue” activity to use in my classes. I put it on YouTube for my ease, and in case anyone else would find it helpful. Now that video, and excerpts from it and updates of it have been viewed over 2 million times!
The video linked above is the newest version, where I’ve incorporated feedback I’ve gotten on previous versions and added a couple more clips. I’ve also set it up so it will be easy to create translations of it into other languages, and I’m currently recruiting educators whose native language is something other than English to help me create translations. (contact me at janelled at live.com if you’re interested in helping!)
No Narration Option for Classes
For birth educators or others who are using this video in an educational setting: That video is designed to be watched independent of a class or educator. It’s 20 minutes, which is a lot of time for a class. If you prefer, I have a 13 minute version here with no narration that you can show and talk through it with your students. https://youtu.be/-rpVYSfuknU
Video Segments – Cue by Cue
In 2014, I created segments that covered only one set of cues at a time. Here’s links to those, if you prefer them.
- Quiet Alert and Engagement Cues: https://youtu.be/M_8PYhGsO2A
- Disengagement and Signs of Overstimulation: https://youtu.be/QaTqoIP04dE
- Tired Cues: https://youtu.be/r-tiSlS1EW0
- Hunger Cues: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABAXgubx58Q
- Gassy Cues: https://youtu.be/gAupFs8Kwts
- Full Cues https://youtu.be/En50oEsm6BE
Teaching about Cues
In my podcast episode on Caring for Your Newborn, you can see how I integrate teaching about cues into the information I give on newborn care and feeding.