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Why do newborn babies cry? © iStock

Why do newborn babies cry?

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Why is the baby crying? Well wouldn't you after the ordeal of labour?

Asked by: Aruna Anhi, Leicester

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Actually, not all babies cry with their first breath after being born. But all babies will cry within a few seconds if they are not immediately reunited with their mother. This is a simple adaptation that makes it less likely that they will get overlooked.

In fact, there is some evidence that baby cries have specifically evolved to be as annoying and hard to ignore as possible. Beyond the first few minutes of life and their first feed, neonatal infants may cry because they are bruised and sore from the trauma of birth, but generally the process is so exhausting for them that they will sleep for the next eight hours or so.

Make the most of it because that's the longest uninterrupted stretch of quiet you'll get for the next six months.

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Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

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