Crying: A babies survival Reflex 


There are no words to describe the overwhelming rush of emotions parents feel when they hear the vibrating squealing cry of a newborn baby making its debut into the world. A cry is a sound we long to hear after birth because we know that our baby has had a healthy entrance into the world.

If you’ve taken parenting classes, read parenting articles or had a broad spectrum of child development classes like me, you’re aware of the vast amount of baby reflexes.

Our babies are born with sooooo many reflexes!

Nearly 75 reflexes to be exact. As a result, some reflexes last for six months while other vanish quickly. Perhaps our favorite reflex is when you place your finger in the little palm of their precious hand, and they embrace your finger.

After all, nothing can turn a mother or father’s heart into a puddle of love faster than that wrap around your finger.

The mouthing reflex, one of the most important, teaches your baby how to nourish himself.

You can test this reflex, but merely stroking the side of your baby’s cheek and in response, they turn their face and open their mouth to your touch. This survival reflex is how your child will naturally learn to latch on to your breast.

It’s the sweetest when you put your face to your baby’s cheek, and in return, you receive adorable sucking kisses.

The reflex we often neglect to talk about is the one we all expect; crying. Crying is your baby’s way of getting your attention. Interesting enough, babies don’t realize that is what they are doing.

Crying is a natural born survival reflex.

In essence, crying is probably the most powerful reflex. A single shriek, squeal or a full on scream can cause any parent to instantaneously drop everything and make a mad dash to their baby.

In the first exhausting weeks of parenthood, you begin to ask yourself why is my sweet angel baby crying so much. Your baby’s cry is their method of expressing that their upset, hungry, wet or cold. It isn’t until a month or two after your babies are born does your child realize that their cry sends a message to you as the parent.

For example, when we are upset some of us mumble under our breath or shout inappropriate musings. Typically, we don’t want others to overhear us, but yet we still need to express ourselves in a verbal manner. Well, our sweet little ones do the same thing.

In the early weeks and months, babies aren’t crying for your attention, but instead expressing their frustrations for a matter of survival.

Side note: Parenthood comes with unbelievable joys and a whole lot of unsolicited advice. Every time you pick up your crying baby can you hear your grandma’s shaky voice saying you keep spoiling him! Welcome encouraging advice and immediately depose of sometimes aggravating incessant commentary of others.

Just like your baby is born with the crying reflex you are given the instinct to come to the rescue.

Often it’s very upsetting for a mother to try and ignore a baby’s cry as the baby ages and matures. A babies cry alerts a mother’s nervous system and amps it into full gear to help their little one in distress.

Also, for many women a baby’s cry can also alert the mother’s milk production and cause their milk to come in.

I am in constant awe of the bond and biological instincts of mothers and their babies.

As your child begins to grow, some reflexes start to disappear.

Your baby no longer needs their crying reflex for survival. Your baby has learned that when she cries her cry commands your attention. At a precious young age, our little ones learn they can easily manipulate you for your attention.

You will be able to clearly tell the difference between a hurt, hungry, wet cry from an angry yell of a cry when they don’t get their way.

As your baby learns and navigates through its new environment outside the womb so does the parent. A change of perception can often give us a change in attitude. Instead of viewing our baby’s cry as a constant need for attention it’s merely a reflex given to your sweet baby to ensure survival.

The love and attentiveness shown to your little one in the early weeks and months allow your baby to grow out of their reflexes and learn how to use their cries and shrieks to send a message.

It can be useful to set parenting goals before your child is born, but important to remember during the early period of your baby’s life, it is impossible to spoil your baby. Despite commentary from others, holding your newborn too much will not lead to negative consequences, but quite possibly the opposite can occur. Your patience and tender loving care will equip your baby with survival skills for a lifetime.

Honey, Lamb and I


Why Babies Cry

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