5 baby sounds decoded

Posted on December 5th, 2018

You’ve probably heard your baby grunting, growling and babbling during her awake times. You might think these are random noises, but your little one is actually communicating with you. By Lisa Witepski

Baby Sounds decoded

As a new mom, you have most likely lamented the fact that you baby is unable to tell you what she wants. But your little one has probably done just that – you just don’t know what to look out for. Here’s a guide to what she’s trying to tell you with her strange little sounds, and how you should respond to help her emotional and verbal development.

ALSO SEE: How to decode your baby’s body language


This is definitely a sound you’re familiar with. Often, it feels like the crying is for no particular reason, but it’s usually a sign that she’s ready for a feed. She could also be cold, hot or in need of a nappy change, so check to see if anything you offer to solve these discomforts helps before you feed her.

ALSO SEE: 9 ways to decode your baby’s cries


This is just the cutest, isn’t it? But be warned, squeals aren’t always a sign of happiness. Babies may also squeal due to discomfort. Try to find out which situation fits, then put your baby’s feelings into words so she starts to understand her emotions.


Your baby probably sounds grumpy when she makes this sound – especially since it’s often accompanied by a pointing finger. In this case, your baby is likely unimpressed with something you’ve done, or feeling frustrated. Help her by, once again, putting words to your actions. This will help develop her vocabulary, so that one day when she wants something, she can go ahead and ask – and that will go a long way to reduce the frustration that often ends in tantrums.

ALSO SEE: Understanding your baby’s changing emotional and developmental needs


Although this can be a sign that your baby is unhappy with a situation, it’s usually something she does simply because it feels new and interesting. She experimenting and finding her voice.


One minute your baby will be making parrot sounds as she tries out her vocal cords, the next she’ll be making sounds that are distinctly close to words. No, you’re not imagining things. That da-da-da will turn into “daddy” before you know it, and even quicker if you encourage her by mimicking her sounds at different pitches.

Lisa Witepski

About Lisa Witepski

In her 16 years as journalist, Lisa Witepski’s work has appeared in most of South Africa’s leading publications, including the Mail & Guardian, Sunday Times, Entrepreneur and Financial Mail. She has written for a number of women’s magazines, including Living & Loving, Essentials and many others, across topics from lifestyle to travel, wellness, business and finance. She is a former acting Johannesburg Bureau Chief for Cosmopolitan, and former Features Editor at Travel News Weekly, but, above all, a besotted mom to Leya and Jessica. Lisa blogs at whydoialwayscravecake.blogspot.com and lisa.witepski.blogspot.com, and tweets at @LisaWitepski.