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Crying Babies and Quiet Babies - 1

Just as there are various types of adults, there are various types of babies, too. That is what we come to realize if we simply take a closer look at them. Babies vary not only in face and body, but also in mind and behavior. As I have previously pointed out, babies are, indeed, rich in variety.

Crying behavior hits the peak toward the evening
Just as the adult's daily social behavior displays a wide variety, "crying", which is the baby's social behavior, varies widely, too. Indeed, crying behaviors are extremely diverse, ranging from individual differences, such as the difference between babies who cry frequently and quiet babies who do not cry often, just to speak roughly, to differences in the baby's crying time zone in the course of the day, or to differences due to the baby's age by day or by month.

Though a large part of a baby's daily life consists in sleeping, crying usually occupies a considerable amount of time, too. On the average, for a newborn, time spent for crying amounts to approximately one hour a day, which is reduced radically to about 15 minutes a day when the baby gets 4 to 5 months old, and to less than 10 minutes a day by the time the baby has reached its first birthday.

Needless to say, the baby's crying duration shortens when the baby's head is firmly set, when the baby is able to open and close its hands, to focus its eyes on objects it sees, and to give a smile.

When precisely, in the course of the day, would the baby's crying duration hit its peak? That again would vary from individual to individual, for it would depend on the baby's physiological rhythm, or the mother's daily rhythm.

For babies who are one to two months old, however, crying heightens definitely in the afternoon and hits its peak, generally, toward the evening.

Children worldwide
What is the essential difference between crying babies and quiet babies? I have not yet succeeded in theorizing the nature of this difference, though I am striving to clarify this issue by all means.

Observations confirm that babies who cry frequently suck fingers less, whereas quiet babies who cry less suck their fingers more often. Generally speaking, as the baby's monthly age progresses, the baby's crying duration tends to shorten, while the time spent for sucking fingers tends to increase. As long as the true nature of this finger sucking behavior remains unknown to us, the essential significance of this inverse relation between crying behavior and finger-sucking behavior would also remain a mystery.

It is understood that the finger-sucking behavior is a physiological reaction typical to the suckling period, for the baby is responding to a sensual stimulus it feels on the gum that is caused by teeth-growing; or that a baby is just enjoying sensations it receives through such sensitive parts of the body as the lips and the tangue. However, there is a lot of mystery about the relationship between the baby's "crying" and various other behaviors.

One of the research reports that deals with the ethnic factor in different "crying behaviors" of babies compares how white American babies cry differently from other ethnic groups including Asians. The report concludes that white American babies cry more frequently.

Among the other ethnic groups under study, Chinese babies, whose crying behavior hardly differs from that of white babies, but stop crying more quickly than these babies in response to the mother's or any surrounding adult's cuddling or comforting behavior.

Likewise, Japanese babies do not cry much and stop crying quickly, but not as quickly as Chinese babies do. Among all the non-white ethnic groups under study, the babies of Australian Aborigine are reported to cry the least and stop crying the most quickly.

Kobayashi, Noboru (1981). "Yoku Naku Ko to Nakanai Ko - 1" (written in Japanese). Tokyo: Child Research Net. Retrieved Oct 9, 2003, from the World Wide Web http://www.crn.or.jp/LIBRARY/KOBY/MIRAI/cbs0102.html
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