A loud, vigorous cry is the first sound a healthy infant emits at birth and is evidence of an infant’s successful transition into extrauterine life. Throughout infancy, crying is the primary means through which infants communicate their needs to parents and other caregivers. Infants cry when they are hurt, cold, hungry, or simply need to be held. Without crying and the visceral emotional reaction it evokes in adults, it is unlikely that infants would receive the basic care they need to survive.

Crying continues to be a powerful signal of emotional need throughout childhood and into adulthood, although crying is transformed, both in form and triggering causes, as individuals become capable of meeting many of their own needs and using other means of communication. Despite ...

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