The Language of Crying
The very first stage in language development is the "crying stage". Your newborn's only means of communication when he is just born is crying, a fact which can be quite understandably frustrating for parents struggling to meet their little one's unknown wants and need.
Crying is Baby's Way of Communicating
While it may seem that your baby cries "day and night", research shows that babies cry less than 10% of their waking hours. Crying is your baby’s essential survival tool, and the only way he can tell you what he needs. During these early months, crying is based on reflexes. But very soon, it paves the way for more intentional communication. It won’t be long before your baby's repertoire of sounds will be supplemented by sweet babbles, cooing noises and more - just wait patiently.
The Vocabulary of Cries
In terms of expressive verbal skills, your baby has a full “vocabulary” of cries, each with its message, such as hunger or boredom. The piercing cry of pain is hard to misinterpret, but learning the meaning of other kinds of crying may demand more practice. By the end of the first month, baby will make gurgling sounds when he is relaxed, and tenser sobbing sounds when hungry.
Understanding is naturally limited at this stage, but may be more developed than you think. Watch as your newborn turns his head toward you or a caregiver - a stranger will not receive the same kind of attention. Your baby's eyes also turn toward different sounds, showing us that different sounds attract his attention. Additionally, by the time your baby is one month old, he can distinguish between similar words such as "ba" and “pa."