Responding to Baby’s Cries
By Pam Henderson
I remember being told before my oldest daughter was born that I would be able to distinguish her cries from all of the other babies’ cries in the hospital nursery. It was true. And, when I heard those cries, I just had to hold her.
As it turns out, mine was the universal response to my baby’s cry. A recent study from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, which has been widely reported by news outlets, followed 684 first-time healthy mothers from the United States and 10 other countries scattered between South America, Africa, Europe and Asia. Researchers found that these mothers were rather consistent in picking up their babies within 5 seconds of crying. The babies were picked up, held and talked to. It’s almost as if new mothers are hard-wired to respond to their baby’s cries. Surprisingly, researchers found no measurable difference in response despite the mothers living in different cultures, in different parts of the world.