New babies are amazing, miraculous – and pretty scary

Have you ever read that “you will quickly know what your baby’s cries mean?” That statement struck fear into my heart as a new mom – and that was with my first, second and third kid!

If you go to a fancy human development textbook, they will tell you that there are six states of consciousness for babies. I don’t remember what they are, because I ran across Janice Tedder’s Give your baby a HUG program.

Janice is a nurse practitioner and parent educator down at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She says our babies have three zones- the Three R’s of baby life.

  1. The Resting Zone
  2. The Ready Zone
  3. The Rebooting Zone

Obviously you want to cue in to what zone your baby is in. You want to stay away from reboots at all costs! Here are some basics. Next week we’ll go into more depth on each of these Zones.

“I’m interested – let’s do this some more!” (Ready to Interact)

 This is the expression we all wait for. And it’s the best time for interacting with baby!


  • Wide eyes, bright eyes
  • Looks at you or interesting object
  • Smiles or shows expression of joy
  • Reaches for things (like your face)

 “I’m getting hungry” – The Ready to Eat Zone


  • Rooting behaviors – sticking out tongue, gnawing on fists or fingers or you
  • Mouthing movements

 I’m sleepy – the Resting Zone


  • Rubs eyes
  • Rubs face on your shirt
  • Pulls on an ear
  • Gets fussy

I need a break –The Reboot Zone


  • Turns away
  • Arches back or twists
  • Fusses or cries
  • Closes his eyes
  • Shows dull or glassy eyes
  • Grabs his hands or his body for comfort
  • Kicks or waves arms rapidly

Plan to join us next week, Wednesday June 27 at 10 AM  at New Moms Network for a discussion with Kathy Hallock, an Early Interventionist at Children’s Integrated Services, about times you find it hard to help your baby get back in the Right Zone!

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