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You don’t need words to tell someone what you’re thinking. More than 70% of communication is non-verbal between adults with everything from the way you stand, the clothes you wear and the expression on your face tells other’s a little something about you and how you’re feeling. The same goes for newborns but it’s not always easy to pick up on their signals. Here are five cues your newborn is giving you…

1. You see their little tongue poking out a couple of times like they're licking their lips – it’s often a sign they're hungry

2. You’re playing with your newborn, pulling silly faces and they turn their head briefly to the side but comes back again pretty quickly. This means they’ve just seen something super interesting and they’re ‘downloading’ for later by turning away for a moment while their brain creates a new connection – amazing!

3. You’ve been playing these games for a little while but now they won’t look at you, so you try getting into their eyeline – they’re actually saying ‘I’ve just learnt lots of stuff and my brain needs a little rest’. Sit back and give them some chill time, they’ll look for you when they’re ready for more.

4. A flush of colour – it only happens for the briefest moment, but if you watch your little one closely when they’re getting frustrated or they’re about to cry, their skin blushes for a quick second. It’s a great cue to help you intervene and stop the crying before it even happens!

5. They mimic your facial expressions! This is an instinctive social skill that humans for building social connections and it’s called mirroring. Even grown-ups do it – like copying the way someone is stood, or when they touch their face and you end up copying them. Some people even copy accents! It’s a way of signalling to the other person that you like them and want them to feel comfortable around you because ‘you’re like them’. This is the most basic form of building a relationship and it's so subtle that you don't even realise it's happening. Babies are also incredibly in tune with this social skill and they’ll pick up on your emotional state through your facial expressions. Try it with your newborn, play with them and be very smiley and when they’re smiley quickly change your expression to a sad face and watch how long it takes them to become neutral or even pull a sad face themselves. (we do this using our FEELINGS song) You’re probably picking up on these cues naturally without realising, but it’s always fascinating to watch out for.

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