Are You Speaking Your Baby’s Language?

by Janice

We pray, we push, we scream, and then we hold our breath until we hear it. Our baby’s first cry. That first wail is an answer to our deepest prayer. It is relief. It is hope. It is the future.

We hold our baby close and we promise to love them forever. Eventually they are quiet, sleeping on our chest. We hear their little labored breaths and feel their chest rising and falling. We are in total peace.


Until those cries come back – again and again. Sometimes we know without a doubt what our baby needs and we immediately respond. But sometimes we are helpless, trying to decipher our infant’s desperate cries. We want to help them, to understand them. If only we knew what they were saying.

To imagine that someone could tell us what they were saying – to teach us their language – is almost unbelievable. Isn’t a newborn’s cry a language without translation?

That was what I thought. Of course, I could tell some difference in my babies’ cries. I got to know them and could hear subtle changes. Some cries were angry and desperate. Others were merely letting me know they needed a bit of attention.

dunstan-priscilla.jpgBut until I heard Priscilla Dunstan share her breakthrough in infant language, I had never noticed that my babies, and all the babies around me and all over the world, were actually saying words – distinct, predictable words that tell us what they need.

Babies are communicating with us – and now we can understand what they are saying!

According to Dunstan:

“Every newborn communicates from birth to 3 months uses 5 distinct sounds that signal hunger, tiredness, need to burp, lower wind/gas and discomfort. This is regardless of the language their parents speak. It is not a learned language. Rather, it is a natural way for every baby to express their physical needs.

The ‘words’ that form the basis of what we have called the Dunstan Baby Language, are sounds that are based on baby’s physical responses. These are called reflexes. For example, when a baby is hungry it will start to suck, and as sound is added to the reflex, the ‘word’ for hunger is produced. These are the baby’s first communications, which occur before actual crying develops. The sooner the ‘word’ for hunger is identified the sooner a parent can respond by feeding, resulting in less crying and less discomfort for baby – and for parents..

The Dunstan System will teach you how to tune your ear to the 5 ‘words’, take you through settling solutions, and gives helpful advice for parents. You will also view Priscilla Dunstan in a ‘live lesson’, teaching new mothers the System – with immediate results.” read more

I just wish I had had Priscilla Dunstan’s DVDs when I had my son six years ago. What a difference it would have made to me.

In my first few months of being a mother, I was so intimidated by my baby’s cries. I wanted him to speak to me clearly and let me know what he needed from me.

When Olivia was just about three months old, I saw Priscilla on Oprah. I was stunned. I quickly threw a video tape in and recorded the show. Then I watched it over and over until I clearly could hear what words I should be listening for.

And it worked. I completely could hear the “words” from Olivia. It is was thrilling!

Now that Olivia is older, I hear them much less. (Babies primarily speak this language between 0-3 months.) But my son still coos to her, “Olivia are you saying ‘Neh?’ – Are you hungry?” It is so sad to hear the language disappearing now. I LOVED hearing her talk to us in her first language.

dunstan-dvd-system-300-pix.jpgI highly and enthusiastically recommend this DVD set to new parents. What an incredible gift to give to a mother and father – and to their newborn – the gift of understanding babies’ first language.

It is incredible!!!

“9 years of observation and intervention research then led to 3 independent international studies, confirming the existence of a universal baby language – the Dunstan Baby Language.”

We are giving FIVE of you the Dunstan Baby Language System. Just leave a comment at this post to be entered to win. (We will announce the winners on March 18th.)

If you or someone you love is expecting or has a young infant and you don’t win a copy, I highly, highly recommend you buy the Dunstan Baby Language. To learn these five powerful ‘words’ is priceless!

Dunstan Baby is offering 5 Minutes for Mom readers a 10% discount when you purchase online from their website. The Promotional Reference Code is USDRP.

“The Dunstan System truly empowers parents. Seeing crying from this new perspective – one that translates infant cries into meaningful communication – is a tool that can contribute to the roles of each and every one of us as caregivers. What better way to support new families.”

Dr Maureen A. O’Brien
Published Author, Ph.D. in Child Psychology and mother of twin boys.
Director of Education, Dunstan Baby

Email Author    |    Website About Janice

Janice is co-founder of 5 Minutes For Mom. She's been working online since 2003 and is thankful her days are full of social media, writing and photography. You can see more of her photos at

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{ 102 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rachel February 29, 2008 at 1:04 pm

I used Dunstan Baby Language with my daughter and was AMAZED at how it worked. It really saved me from having some less-than-stellar parenting moments when she was an infant. I was able to tell what she needed, tend to it, stop the crying quickly and resume a nice happy life. I highly recommend this!!!

If I win, I will most definitely give it as a gift to one of my seven friends who are pregnant right now!!


2 staci February 29, 2008 at 1:43 pm

I would love this!!


3 Jacquie February 29, 2008 at 1:44 pm

If it’s available to Canadian addresses, count me in! My first baby is due to arrive any day now!


4 Melissa February 29, 2008 at 1:48 pm

I’ve heard vague mutterings of a “newborn language” but had never seen it in action, or even referenced…so this makes me very excited! I am due on May 26th with our first child, and am anxious about how to understand and meet her needs.
I would love to win this DVD set!
Thanks for ALL your reviews and recommendations!


5 Kristi February 29, 2008 at 1:56 pm

I would love to have this personally and as a tool in my lending library as a Doula. What an amazing gift to be able to have to understand newborns!


6 Greta February 29, 2008 at 2:16 pm

Count me in! Seeing this method on Oprah helped me and I’ve got plenty of pregnant friends who would love it, I’m sure!


7 Stefanie February 29, 2008 at 2:17 pm

How intriguing. I’ve picked up on my sons hunger cry, but would love to learn the other 4!


8 suzzcq70 February 29, 2008 at 2:21 pm

Great giveaway, thanks!


9 ayla February 29, 2008 at 2:25 pm

This contest is so timely, as last night I was up forever, crying, because I didn’t know how to sooth my baby. Thanks for considering me.


10 Becky February 29, 2008 at 2:25 pm

Please enter me in this giveaway!!! I’ve been interested in seeing more since I saw her on Oprah!!!


11 Celeste February 29, 2008 at 2:27 pm

Wow–sounds like a fabulous tool!


12 Aimee February 29, 2008 at 2:34 pm

This would be awesome to have when my next little one arrives in July! Count me in!


13 Kira February 29, 2008 at 2:35 pm

This sounds so interesting!


14 Scrapping Servant February 29, 2008 at 2:35 pm

Another exciting giveaway!


15 Krista February 29, 2008 at 2:47 pm

Sign me up! This would have been heaven with my colicky baby… and I have a ton of new mommy friends to give it to!


16 Holly C February 29, 2008 at 3:07 pm

i’ve heard of this! what a useful giveaway!


17 Bonnie Walker February 29, 2008 at 3:20 pm

this is so cool! enter me in please :)


18 Bailey's Leaf February 29, 2008 at 3:24 pm

Lots of friends having babies! Would love to give this to one of them!


19 Mommy Bee February 29, 2008 at 3:25 pm

Wow…amazing. It’s neat to read of your experience with this language. Count me in on the contest!


20 Brenda Prentice (Time and Season) February 29, 2008 at 3:34 pm

I love this. I did not see the DVDs, but visited their sight and watched their little sample clip. I could totally hear my then 1 month old use those sounds. I would love to own a DVD series of this.


21 Miscellany Mom February 29, 2008 at 3:39 pm

This seems like a wonderful gift for a new parent!


22 Sara February 29, 2008 at 3:40 pm

please, please, please (she types one-handed while holding the now sleeping 3 week old)


23 Erna February 29, 2008 at 3:47 pm

I am very curious about this product.


24 Alyson February 29, 2008 at 4:30 pm

fascinating thought, we’re due to have another soon and it would be very interesting to have.


25 Michelle February 29, 2008 at 4:33 pm

ohh please enter me as we’re going to be looking after friends baby whose 6 months old..thanks


26 Tara February 29, 2008 at 4:40 pm

I would love this!!


27 Jeni February 29, 2008 at 4:48 pm

I would LOVE to win this to pass along to my cousin, who is expecting her first.


28 Whitney A February 29, 2008 at 5:41 pm

This would’ve helped me the first time around. I’m sure my son and I would have cried less because I couldn’t understand his language. I’d love a chance to try it the second time around!


29 lace February 29, 2008 at 5:59 pm

I saw this on Oprah and was amazed by it.


30 Kristen D February 29, 2008 at 6:04 pm

Wow, this would save a lot of tears!


31 Marci February 29, 2008 at 6:05 pm

Even experienced Moms need help sometimes.


32 Tina February 29, 2008 at 6:11 pm

Baby boy #3 is coming in a few weeks – I’d LOVE this!

Thanks :)


33 Cindi Hoppes February 29, 2008 at 6:17 pm

Hello! Another marvelous giveaway! I have heard and read great things about this program. Please enter me in your drawing. I do appreciate it! Thanks,Cindi


34 Naomi February 29, 2008 at 6:25 pm

I would love to check this out…


35 Michele February 29, 2008 at 6:39 pm

Please enter me…my best friend is expecting and this would be perfect for her.


36 Mary February 29, 2008 at 6:40 pm

wow this sounds so interesting. hope I win! thanks for the great giveaway.


37 Robyn February 29, 2008 at 6:44 pm

I’ve seen Priscilla Dunstan on Oprah. I wish I would have had her video when my first was born. After I saw Ms. Dunstan on Oprah, I started listening to my sons cries and I could decifer his ‘neh’, the hunger cry. I wish I could have caught onto his other four cries, but even knowing the one was a huge help! My friend is now expecting & I know this would be a help to her, as well.


38 Bree February 29, 2008 at 6:51 pm

I also saw her on Oprah! I’d love to have this set!!


39 Nichole February 29, 2008 at 7:02 pm

I saw her on Oprah and was blown away. I’d love to win this!


40 Stacey February 29, 2008 at 7:20 pm

This looks very informative – thanks for the entry!


41 Striving\Tessa February 29, 2008 at 7:31 pm

I have heard of this. It sounds really neat. Thanks for the chance.


42 Heather February 29, 2008 at 7:34 pm

I have heard about her theories and would love to watch the videos.


43 artsweet February 29, 2008 at 7:51 pm

Wow! I’d love to try this out.


44 Lisa February 29, 2008 at 8:13 pm

When my second daughter, Ally, was born my then 2-yr-old, Julia, would tell me what Ally was saying as she was crying. I always thought it was a cute and just something Julia claimed to know about her new baby sister. But now, Im wondering if Julia actually understood what Ally was ‘saying’. Maybe because Julia was so young she remembered speaking that way? Please do not enter me in this contest, my daughters are 6 and 8 now and this prize would be lost on me. I just wanted to share my story. Thanks.


45 Susanne February 29, 2008 at 8:38 pm

Thanks for the entry!!


46 Angela Wegley February 29, 2008 at 8:38 pm

I would love to try this. My daughter is 7 weeks old and sometimes not being able to understand her needs is frustrating.


47 Jennifer Barr February 29, 2008 at 8:49 pm

would love to win :)


48 Suzanne February 29, 2008 at 9:01 pm

If this works, it’s remarkable. I’d love to give it a try!


49 Kari A. February 29, 2008 at 9:04 pm

I have seen the “testimonials” for this and I must say that I think they may be on to something here. I am not sure if it is only memorization – meaning they show the same cards in the same order each time – but I am dying to try it out!


50 Tonya February 29, 2008 at 9:22 pm

Please enter me.


51 Rebecca Robertson February 29, 2008 at 9:28 pm

count me in…I would love this…


52 Stephanie February 29, 2008 at 9:41 pm

A. This post is beautifully written…especially the first two paragraphs. Thanks for reminding me of the beauty and wonder of those early moments.
B. I saw part of the “Dunstan episode” on Oprah and I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical. “Could it really be true?” I wondered.
C. I value your opinion and I would love to give the system a try when I get pregnant with #2. Please enter me in the contest.


53 Meg February 29, 2008 at 9:44 pm

What a novel idea…how fascinating! I was a psychology major, as well as a mom now, so this is intriguing to me. Wouldn’t we all love to know what our babies are wanting/needing/thinking! ( )


54 Patti February 29, 2008 at 10:00 pm

Sounds great!!


55 Danielle S February 29, 2008 at 10:03 pm

I’ve heard of this before! Fascinating! I’d love to try it out!
dansan826 at


56 Lillian D February 29, 2008 at 10:38 pm

I’m expecting number 2 at the end of June and would love to have an easier time this time around!


57 Jenny M February 29, 2008 at 11:13 pm

what a helpful tool for new parents! sign us up


58 Sarah February 29, 2008 at 11:20 pm

I would love to have a copy of this to loan to all of the mommas and babes I work with as a doula. I think this would help moms so much on those first 3 months to understand their babies and for everyone to experience a lot less stress.


59 Jennifer February 29, 2008 at 11:40 pm

I would be really interested in seeing this!


60 Becky March 1, 2008 at 12:16 am

I saw her on Oprah and it sounded pretty cool.


61 Mommie March 1, 2008 at 12:41 am

This would be great, thanks!



62 valmg March 1, 2008 at 1:19 am

Sounds intriguing!


63 A Contest Blog March 1, 2008 at 1:21 am
64 tally March 1, 2008 at 2:00 am

I’ve heard about this. I’d love to try it.


65 Mamacheryl March 1, 2008 at 8:11 am

Absolutely. I’d love this.


66 Cindy D. March 1, 2008 at 9:39 am

I have seen this before on Oprah I would love to try it out.


67 erin March 1, 2008 at 11:05 am

I would love this!


68 zamejias March 1, 2008 at 11:14 am

My son is past infancy stage but I’d love to try this one if and when the second one comes. Or if that’s too far away, I’d love to share this with my cousins.

zamblogspot at gmail dot com


69 Ivan Girl March 1, 2008 at 12:02 pm

wow! this is wonderful and surely a good help for newbie moms like me. :)

thanks for sharing!


70 Beth Kuligowski March 1, 2008 at 1:18 pm

sounds interesting! it would be a great help to be able to understand the cries of our new little one arriving in may. thanks for the chance to win! -beth


71 Sundi March 1, 2008 at 2:38 pm

I would love to win this and try it out! It’s hard to believe something like this works, but then when you look into it, it really makes sense! Thanks!


72 Carrie March 1, 2008 at 3:20 pm

I’d love to give this to my sis-in-law!


73 Laura H. March 1, 2008 at 9:43 pm

I saw her on Oprah, too and would love to win a copy!!



74 Kristi March 1, 2008 at 10:28 pm

This sounds like an awesome DVD!


75 taowyn March 2, 2008 at 12:48 am

I would love this for my sis and nephew.


76 Kristin March 2, 2008 at 4:28 am

This is wonderful! I would love this for my daughter.


77 Amanda March 2, 2008 at 11:15 am

please enter me thanks


78 Susan Wadle March 2, 2008 at 2:01 pm

I work as a nanny and postpartum doula and would love to be able to share this with my families.


79 Karen March 2, 2008 at 4:45 pm

I saw her on Oprah, too, and was amazed! I definitely want to learn more about the “baby language” for my next baby! :)


80 Dolly March 2, 2008 at 7:06 pm

I would love to win this DVD/book set! This would be great!


81 Donna March 2, 2008 at 10:47 pm

I’d love to check this out since I have a new baby coming this summer!


82 Idahospud March 2, 2008 at 11:24 pm

Incredible! I would love to learn my baby’s language!


83 Sarah W. March 2, 2008 at 11:33 pm

You mean I could figure out what my sweet daughter needs? I would SO love this!!!


84 Shannon B. March 3, 2008 at 11:01 am

Would love to win!


85 carol March 3, 2008 at 12:12 pm

My first granddaughter is 11 days old. My daughter would love this. I sure hope we win one!


86 Wendy March 3, 2008 at 12:37 pm

Cool! Please enter me:)


87 Colleen Palat March 4, 2008 at 12:20 am

This is wonderful!


88 Sarah March 4, 2008 at 1:50 am

I would seriously LOVE to win this! I have heard of this just recently, and boy oh boy did it spark my interest!! Thanks for the giveaway!


89 Deb - Mom of 3 Girls March 4, 2008 at 7:09 pm

I have a friend with a newborn right now and she would love this! :)


90 Beth March 4, 2008 at 8:35 pm

Oh my goodness, I’d LOVE To win this!! My mother-in-law was actually just telling me about this lady the other day. i missed watching her when she was on Oprah. Pick me, pick me!


91 sandra March 5, 2008 at 9:58 am

a great way to learn what they are saying


92 oh amanda March 6, 2008 at 2:04 pm

So cool! I’d love to have this!


93 Jenn March 7, 2008 at 10:20 pm

I’d love to win this!!


94 Kathy March 10, 2008 at 3:32 pm

I would love to have this. What a wonderful discovery. Kathy


95 Paula March 11, 2008 at 3:50 am

This would be wonderful to have!!!!!


96 Teri March 11, 2008 at 10:41 pm

Thank you so much for the giveaway! I would love to win this, as we are currently trying to conceive our first child. Take care!


97 Timothy Sternberg March 12, 2008 at 9:24 am

I used Dunstan Baby Language with my daughter and was AMAZED at how it worked.


98 Jenn Haddock March 15, 2008 at 12:20 am

This would be a terrific gift for my expecting sister-in-law. Thanks for the opportunity to win it.


99 Michelle Rosborough March 16, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Every mom needs this.


100 Brooke March 17, 2008 at 8:36 am

I saw this on Oprah!! Please pick me!


101 Taryn March 17, 2008 at 9:19 am

sounds neat!


102 Benedict March 25, 2008 at 6:34 am

It is a wonderful thing to know the baby’s language when it cries or laughs. Its good to here now have got a product for that. All the mom needs it very much and its a good idea for purchasing it and also a worthy product.


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