Understanding your baby's cues

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Understanding your baby's cues

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The way parents understand cues is to be emotionally aware of themselves. Parents who are depressed. Parents who are traumatized. Parents who experience overwhelming stress are going to have a terrible time picking up on non-verbal cues. They are going to have a hard time -- in terms of expressing cues to their baby. They are mirroring their cues to their baby all the time that are somewhat distressful for the baby. How can parents learn to do a good job in that? Maybe when they are having some problems, they can learn skills. There are skills and other things that parents can do. One of the things we have on our health guide website is a toolkit that teaches parents how to remain calm and focused enough. That's what it's going to take. You have to be calm and genuinely focused on what you feel, in order to pick up on the baby's emotional state in an optimal way. It can be learned. These are skills. It's not something you are born with.

See Jeanne Segal, PhD's video on Understanding your baby's cues...

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Expert Bio

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Jeanne Segal, PhD

Psychologist & Author

Jeanne Segal is a mother and grandmother with an MA degree in psychology and PhD in sociology. She is an author whose books have been translated into 13 languages. Dr. Segal is the developer and content editor of Helpguide.org, a nonprofit website that helps people help themselves. Helpguide attracts over 1 million viewers a week and collaborates with the publishing arm of Harvard Medical School. One of the topics covered on the Helpguide.org website that is dearest to her heart is infant mental health.

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