BabyCues Information Page
BabyCues: A Child's First Language helps parents, grandparents and other caregivers become more "tuned in" to their baby or young child's feelings and needs by learning to read and respond to their child's behavioral cues. By recognizing and responding to a child’s behavioral cues, parents and other caregivers can develop sensitive, responsive relationships with the children in their life. They can learn when their child is ready to interact and play, when they need to be reassured, or when they need a break from an activity. This in turn builds trust and sets the stage for language and other development.
Learning to read a child's cues can help caregivers respond more sensitively by answering such questions as:
- How can I tell my baby is ready to play and interact?
- How do I know my child needs a break from an activity?
- What combination of cues might tell me my baby is hungry?
- How can I readily respond to cues to help prevent tantrums?
- How can I tell my infant is full?
BabyCues: A Child's First Language Cards is an informative set of 52 cards, including 46 colored photo cards that illustrate and explain behavioral cues commonly seen in infants and young children, plus a fold-out instructional booklet and six sorting cards. Each card includes a different photo with an explanation on the back explaining the type of cue (engaging and disengaging) and the intensity (subtle or potent).
Since Subtle Cues normally precede Potent Cues, parents and caregivers who can identify and respond to these subtle cues, have the opportunity to modify the situation to fit the child's current needs and feelings. For example, by learning to identify a child's Subtle Disengagement Cues, caregivers can alter their behavior or situation so that the child's behavior doesn't escalate into more potent disengaging behavior such as whining, crying, or pushing away. Likewise, by responding to their child's Engagement Cues, parents can recognize the ideal times for playing with and teaching their child new tasks. It is also important to note that reading and responding to a child's cues decreases stress for both mother and baby. This creates a better climate, resulting in positive caregiver/child interactions.
The BabyCues DVD is a 20 minute video which illustrates baby cues and also shows clustering of cues, states of arousal, hunger and satiation cues, and more. The BabyCues Cards and DVD were designed for use in the home, in a clinical setting, or as a teaching tool in the classroom. Practicing with the cards can help parents and other caregivers gain confidence, improve their caregiving skills, and ultimately enhance the relationship with the baby or young child in their life.