LivingWhy you can't (and shouldn't) ignore a baby's cry

Why you can't (and shouldn't) ignore a baby's cry

Crying is the baby’s only form of communication. When he still cannot express himself in words, he communicates through non-verbal language. He will tell us that something pleases him with a smile and that something displeases him with crying. It is usually associated with something negative, but crying is a claim, a way of saying “I need your help.”

So we ask ourselves, why can’t a baby’s cry be (and shouldn’t) be ignored? . Just as we do not ignore someone who comes to speak to us, much less can we ignore the cry of a baby who cannot fend for himself.

A baby’s cry generates a powerful response in people’s brains. A study from the University of Oxford has shown, from a scientific point of view, why it is really impossible to ignore the cry of a baby, even in people who do not have children.

When both an adult man and woman hear a baby cry, instantaneously, much earlier than when they hear the cry of an adult or an animal, two brain regions involved with the emotional response are activated.

One is the middle temporal region, an area involved in emotional processing and speech, the other area is the orbitofrontal cortex, an area known for its role in rewarding and processing emotions.

The sound of a baby crying is something that captures attention in a way that few other sounds can. It makes us alert. That is why it is impossible to sleep on an airplane when a child is crying, for example.

A response to the survival instinct is activated in adults, since crying is the baby’s way of expressing that he is facing a dangerous situation, whether he is hungry, cold, hot or needs the protection of the arms of Mommy.

The impossibility of ignoring a baby’s cry is thus linked to a primary, unconscious reaction. Even if we wanted to, we couldn’t block that response, because our brain says that helpless baby needs to be cared for .

Calm the crying baby

Of course, a baby’s cry should not be neglected . He is telling us through crying that he needs something and not responding to that mechanism has physiological and, of course, psychological consequences, such as being ignored in his basic needs and feeling that not even his parents, his protectors, are capable of comforting him.

The first thing to do is try to recognize the reason for the baby’s crying. When we meet our baby, we already know how to distinguish when he cries from hunger, from sleep, because his tummy hurts or for whatever reason.

Still, sometimes, even though their basic needs for food, sleep, and shelter are met, the baby may continue to cry. Most of the time it is due to the need for physical contact, since the little one needs our warmth and our protection. Therefore, the first option is to take it in your arms.

There are also other ways to calm the baby’s crying, such as wrapping him around his body with a soft blanket with his arms and legs inside the lullaby, rocking him, or putting him on the breast, since even if he is not hungry with the non-nutritive sucking, the baby is feel comforted.

Photo | joffi on Pixabay and iStockphoto
In Babies and more | Combining three sensory stimuli, the most effective way to calm a crying baby, according to a study, Research shows why the crying baby should always be cared for

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