What parent has not felt helpless and frustrated at times to care for their new baby? It does not seem to matter if it is the first baby or the fifth, in the middle of the night an inconsolable screaming baby can reduce the strongest of souls to tears. Often times new parents blow up at each other leaving them feeling at odds, alone, and overwhelmed. Everyone has lots of advice of how to soothe a crying baby, yet few really are able to understand what that crying baby is trying to communicate. Now that ability is available to all parents, thanks to the work and research of Priscilla Dunstan. She has deciphered the secret language of babies everywhere.

The Dunstan Baby Language Program teaches parents and caregivers the messages that are encoded in every infant’s cry. There are 5 sounds that correlate with 5 biological needs every baby has– I’m sleepy; Please, burp me; I am hungry; I have gas pain; and I’m uncomfortable, mom & dad. The ability to quickly and accurately identify a baby’s needs allows for less crying and a more contented, happy baby. When their needs are meet, infants also settle more easily and have more uninterrupted sleep. And as the baby sleeps, so can the parent! YEAH! All of this provides greater parental self-esteem, satisfaction and competence. As one parent expressed it so profoundly, “Before we thought our baby was so unpredictable but she wasn’t unpredictable, we just didn’t know what she wanted. Now that we are able to respond quickly to her needs, she cries very little. We are happy and she is happy…. that is the goal.”

After using and utilizing the Dunstan Baby Language System, fathers concur, “Understanding the needs of my baby has helped me to be a more hands-on father.”  Fathers become more involved in newborn care as they discover they too can accurately understand and respond to their newborn’s cries. 70% fathers reported a decrease in household stress after using the system. 1 in 2 fathers also reported a positive impact on the martial relationship.  The Dunstan format is for ideal joint learning. When mothers and fathers can apply the same skills at the same time, based not on their “parenting style” but on their infant’s needs, a parenting partnership can be truly achieved.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of the Dunstan System is the knowledge that babies are communicating from the moment of birth. Possessing the ability to respond quickly and accurately to the communication contained within the cries provides the infant the security required to trust that their needs will be meet. This profoundly sets the stage for a stronger parent-child bond and more secure, self-confident, happier child.

Michelle Smith-Roebuck, CHt is Certified Dunstan Baby Language Educator. Her commitment to empowering parents and children is embodied in her work as a lactation & childbirth educator, post-partum/birth doula, and mid-wifery birth assistant. For information on classes for parents, please contact Michelle at 407-791-7989 or birtheasebabies@yahoo.com

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