Every Crying Baby Heard


The birth of a universal baby language.

This story begins with the birth of a baby boy Tomas, son of George Betsis & Priscilla Dunstan. Twenty four years earlier, music teacher Judith & university academic Max Dunstan’s fourth and youngest daughter was born with what would later prove to be an uncommon memory for audio patterns. 

This ability enabled her to make accurate connections between sounds, which would appear totally random to other people.

It was not until Tomas’ arrival that the profound nature of this ability was truly revealed.

It enabled her to unlock a new door… and listen to a world which no parent had ever heard.

To our surprise (and absolute delight) Tomas’ newborn infant sounds are later found, after an 8 year R&D program, to be made by all babies!

This first ‘language’ of humans, produced by different innate infant reflexes, is used by babies long before they can express the nuances of the culture they have been born into. Or whatever language they will learn from their parents.

As baby Tomas developed, other sounds were identified, and combinations of sounds, that signaled more complex needs.  

A whole new kind of ‘language’ had been discovered, yet it represented a common language all humanity shared. 

DBL was founded based on the belief that the cries produced by infants were an important and necessary form of communication. They were not just random noises.  And that each cry had a distinct purpose and meaning.

By listening to Tomas’ cries, a number of very specific, repetitive, subtle sounds embedded in his “pre-cries” were identified.

These sounds followed a pattern, and signaled a basic physical need which Tomas was trying to express in the only way a baby can.

At first only five distinct sounds were repeatedly and regularly used by baby Tomas (before he cried out in distress) as signals for his basic physical needs: 

      1. NEH  – Hunger 
      2. EH – Upper wind (burp) 
      3. EAIRH – Lower wind (gas) 
      4. HEH – Discomfort (hot, cold, wet) 
      5. OWH – Sleepiness

At first the sounds your baby makes are soft and subtle.   This is called the Pre-Cry.    As time passes, these sounds become louder.    More urgent.    If nobody’s listening your baby will start crying.    The siren begins.    It gets louder and more desperate. Until the baby’s screams are heard. This hurts a lot more than our ears.   Stop.   Open your ears.  Listen.   Your baby will love you for it.



“It’s more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long,

difficult words but rather short, easy words like ‘What about lunch?'”

-A.A. Milne in Winnie-the-Pooh