Are you frustrated and frazzled, trying to cope with an unhappy, crying baby, and don’t know what to do? What is this baby trying to communicate? What is the problem?
Well, Priscilla Dunstan may have the answer for you!
When Priscilla was a toddler, her parents discovered she had a photographic memory for sound. At age 4, she could hear a Mozart concert on the piano and play it back note for note. Priscilla says her gift has helped her hear a special “second language” beyond English, allowing her to detect moods and even diagnose illnesses! “Other people might hear a note but I sort of get the whole symphony,” Priscilla says. “So when someone’s speaking, I get all this information that other people might not pick up.”
That mysterious second language took on an astounding new meaning when Priscilla became a mother to her baby, Tom. ” Because of my gift for sound, I was able to pick out certain patterns in his cries and then remember what those patterns were later on when he cried again,” Priscilla says. “I realized that other babies were saying the same words.”
After testing her baby language theory on more than 1,000 infants around the world, Priscilla says there are five words that all babies 0–3 months old say—regardless of race and culture:
- Neh=”I’m hungry”
- Owh=”I’m sleepy”
- Heh=”I’m experiencing discomfort”
- Eair=”I have lower gas”
- Eh=”I need to burp”
Those “words” are actually sound reflexes, Priscilla says. “Babies all around the world have the same reflexes, and they therefore make the same sounds,” she says. If parents don’t respond to those reflexes, Priscilla says the baby will eventually stop using them.
Priscilla recommends that parents listen for those words in a baby’s pre-cry before they start crying hysterically. She says there is no one sound that’s harder to hear than others because it varies by individual. She also says some babies use some words more than others.
As part of her appearance on Oprah Winfrey’s nationally syndicated show on November 13th, Priscilla met with eight new mothers, along with their nine newborn babies, to help them understand the universal language their children speak.
Each mom says they cope with their crying child differently. “My husband and I have a list,” says Jessica, the mother of twins. “First it’s diaper change. Feed. Check the clothing. Put the pacifier in the mouth. Give them a bath. … In the end, nothing works.”
The constant crying creates a lot of stress and frustration for these moms. “You just feel absolutely helpless. You want so much to be the one to comfort them and to kind of shelter them from whatever they’re feeling,” says new mom Danielle.
After Priscilla explains the cries, the moms are shocked to learn their babies are actually talking to them! After two hours with Priscilla, all nine babies are comfortable, happy and quiet.
“Who would have thought that all of our babies are trying to tell us something and we just didn’t know it the whole time,” says Erica, another new mom. “So it’s amazing.”
View this video *HERE* to listen and hear babies “talk” for yourself!
From the Oprah show: The Secret Language of Babies – televised November 13, 2006
Thanks, Molly, for sharing with us!