Have you heard of the Dunstan Baby Language?
I first learned about it on an episode of Oprah I watched years ago. Priscilla Dunstan has a photographic sound memory. When she had her son, she could pick out patterns in his cries and figured out that they were connected to his needs. She has since researched the “language” on over 1,000 babies from around the world. Watch the Oprah video here to see it all in action!
The foundation of the language is that there are 5 basic baby cries (or pre-cry sounds) that are based on reflexes for baby’s basic needs. These sounds are universal to all babies, although some might express them more clearly than others.
Neh = sucking reflex = I’m hungry
Owh = yawn reflex = I’m sleepy
Heh = skin reflex = I’m uncomfortable
Eh = burp reflex = Burp me
Eairh = poot reflex = I have lower gas
When you watch the videos and hear her experience, it makes perfect sense! I have to say though that when I hear regular babies crying, I am horrible at getting it right!
There was a Pregtastic episode on the topic and one of the moms recorded her son’s cries throughout the day. It turns out nearly all of them were “eh” = gas and I had guessed all 5 reflexes wrong before guessing “eh”! I kept hearing “neh.”
Critics have said this has not been scientifically tested, but when you watch Priscilla in action, it sure seems accurate. And I think the reflex theory makes great sense.
There’s a whole DVD set you can buy to practice and learn how to study your baby. Might be helpful if you’re really into it, but I think the online videos and samples are good enough to understand the language. But maybe I really do need more practice!
I feel that like elimination communication, you don’t have to sit and monitor every single cry to put this into practice. I have heard a lot of moms say that they just know what their baby needs. But I think this could be helpful as just another trick to be aware of in times when you might be having trouble figuring it all out.
Have any of you used the Dunstan language on your babies?
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