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Monday, 16 May 2011

Mummy, I'm don't know what's wrong!

Today I though I'd write about looking out for clues in baby or childhood illness. I'm talking about body language clues or non verbal clues.

On Friday (and during the days before) my normally chirpy, occasionally cheeky daughter was clearly not herself. She had no energy (and believe me she has more than enough energy for both you and me). Her skin tone held a yellowish glow. Her eyes had no sparkle. She moved her body with less speed than usual. She held onto me and wanted me close by at all times. These non verbal clues spoke volumes. Her verbal representation was different too. She was wingeing, moaning and generally making 'out of sorts' noises. I had initially connected this a(nother) growth spurt or ill health of some description.

Since 'B' was a baby she has provided many non verbal clues to her ill health. The biggest clue for us is a glue like smell on her breath.

Back to Friday, so, there we were in a well known supermarket trying to get our supplies and I stop all proceedings and ask B to open her mouth to allow me to smell her breath. Mmmm I knew it. She was ill and she was about to come down with something. And judging by her demeanour this was no sniffle or tummy upset.

I had asked my lovely 'B', now 6 years old what was wrong and she replied "I don't know what's wrong, mummy!" I suppose on reflection, she didn't need to know what was wrong. I could see as it was written into her body. As a mum I needed to know so I could support her in the best possible way.

'B' continued to be out of sorts, her appetite was depressed and then on Saturday they appeared!! A couple of red spots on her back! Yep this was the beginning of Chicken Pox! She was and is really suffering with a nasty bout of Chicken Pox, and as a result has been both very upset, in pain and this has resulted in a low mood, (commonly known as grumpiness).

I wonder how much you pick up on your child's ill health, concerns and worries through what their non verbal communication tells you. As a mum there are so many things you can understand prior to words entering the domain. What does your child or baby tell you non verbally. Does your child or baby have a glue-like smell on their breath before they show other signs of illness?

I'd love to hear all about your child or baby's body language clues. What do you recognise about your baby or child before they become ill?

I look forward to learning more about this from you.

Warmest wishes from a rather tired mum!

PS 'B' has a message for you. I DON'T LIKE CHICKEN POX!!!!


  1. I always found that when my son was young, it was the quietness that gave it away. He was always jumping over something especially posts outside. Then one day he sat on the sofa, still, just like I had always dreamt of, I knew instantly there was a problem and whisked him off to the doctor and sure enough his temperature was way too high. So I agree, Mum's have a great intuition for picking up non-verbal clues, we just need to believe in them.

  2. Absolutely true. We need to believe in our instincts and follow intuitively what we know is best. Non-verbal clues are accessible a long time before verbal ones. We can save time and minimise distress using our eyes to access all what we instinctively feel and in doing so we can maximise our infants & children's happiness.

    Thanks for your post.