She starts to get restless and lets out the wail we’ve come to call “the warning shot.” Act fast, mom, because I’m about to lose it here. I recognize her whimpers and I pick her up and whisper in her ear as we walk around the room. We walk and rock and it doesn’t take long before she is asleep, worn out from play and observing the world around her.
There are fussy moments that mean the baby is tired. Or hungry. Or overstimulated. Amelia lets me know.
As I learn more and more about my child, I learn what her cries mean, what facial expressions indicate she’s overwhelmed, and I can anticipate her responses.
This is something that an older sibling (and sometimes other adults) can’t as easily do. At times there are hurt feelings when what seems like happy play is abruptly ended by baby’s frantic cries. “She doesn’t like me anymore.”
Sometimes, we can’t always decipher what our babies are trying to tell us. One moment baby is happy and giggling, enjoying the game, and the next she is overwhelmed and frantic.
And, if it is tricky for grown ups to decipher, it definitely isn’t easy for a young sibling to understand the sudden shift in baby’s emotions.