Switch to previous version of Magzter
Papa, Can You Hear Me?
Papa, Can You Hear Me?
Most of us can’t ignore a baby’s cry.
Sara Chodosh

We can choose not to respond, but those shattering notes will infiltrate our noggins no matter what. The wail (however irritating it might be) sparks a response that ensures one thing: survival. Data suggests that the noise tips off parents more than childless adults— and women more than men—but a baby’s screech is tuned to trigger every grown-up. Each moment of screaming contains crucial information about a child’s level of distress. Throughout the seven seconds of audio below, acoustic clues in the sound waves signal just how urgently a kiddo needs help.

1 Attracting Attention

During late pregnancy and following birth, caregivers produce elevated levels of prolactin and oxytocin, which prime their ears to be especially sensitive to the frequency range of a newborn’s cries. These hormones also promote nurturing behaviors—like physically comforting the kid—and boost positive feelings that can help keep new moms and dads from throwing their hands up in despair.

Continue Reading with Magzter GOLD

GoldLogo

Get unlimited access to thousands of curated premium stories and 5,000+ magazines

READ THE ENTIRE ISSUE

Winter 2019