Babies cannot speak and therefore cry to let us know they need something. They are unable to use words to let us know if they are hungry or in pain.
Let the guessing games begin!
A nursery minus the crying
It is important to ensure that babies' needs are met. The quicker we respond to babies' cries, the sooner the crying will stop. Quick response on our behalf is the key to developing a trusting relationship. Constant crying can be head off by ensuring babies feel secure in their environment.
A simple trick
Put babies' emotions into words. "You are hungry! I think that's why you are crying...isn't that it?" Speaking to babies calms them and using this method on a regular basis will help babies learn to name their emotions in the long run.
An emotions picture book
Print illustrations of emotions or states of mind which babies experience. For example, pictures of babies who are tired, sad, happy, daydreaming or scared may be easy for babies to identify with. Pictures can be laminated and placed in an album or the cards can simply be laid out for babies to manipulate. When I worked with toddlers, I would stick the pictures to mirrors.
Explore emotions as a theme
Introduce emotions as a theme whenever new babies arrive in your daycare.
Add interesting books to make the theme come to life. Do not miss the "Little Book Worm" column suggesting books on the subject.
Teach the babies simple songs about emotions. Refer to our Emotions theme for song suggestions.