Baby’s body language

Babies may not be able to speak, but they are pretty good at expressing their wants and needs through body language. So what does it mean when babies frown or kick their legs?


A laughing or smiling baby: this signal is almost impossible to misinterpret. When babies smile, they are happy and content. Babies don’t need a particular reason to feel happy. By smiling and laughing, your baby is telling you: “I’m doing great!”

When babies smack their lips or suck their fingers, they are often hungry. However, if they have just had a feed and do not show any other signs of hunger, they may simply be trying to settle themselves by sucking, an instinctive reflex for many babies.


When your baby makes big, round eyes at you, they may be telling you several things: parents quickly learn whether their wide-eyed baby is being particularly attentive, happy, fearful or amazed. When a baby’s eyes look small, with the lids half-shut, they may be bored or tired. 

Raised eyebrows signal that the baby is surprised. Wrinkles around the eyes and on the forehead may be a sign that they aren’t feeling well.

When babies look a bit glassy-eyed, they are in the process of switching off and relaxing and probably want some peace and quiet. 

Arms and legs

Babies who flail their arms and kick their legs a lot do this for a variety of reasons. To interpret all this movement correctly, it is important to observe what else your baby is up to. Sometimes, babies will kick to get attention and play time. If babies fuss while kicking and seem unusually restless, this may be a sign that something is bothering them, for instance wind or colic. Babies who laugh and squeal while kicking are simply expressing their sheer joy of life! 

A baby’s body language is unique and cannot always be interpreted clearly. However, as parents get to know their baby better, they will learn to read their baby’s signals correctly and understand what he or she is trying tell them.