• Lorna Ilena Bussue

Part11: A Baby's Cry

Updated: Sep 5, 2019

In Emeralda's view, one of the first steps in caring for a new born is understanding their cry. A baby communicates most effectively through her cries and her smiles. Emeralda recalls holding her baby during the time she was cooking. The baby started crying in an insistent, inconsolable manner. She hurriedly put her on the bed and took off her clothes to see if an insect was on her body. There wasn't any insect on her skin but yet she continued crying distressingly.

The following day, while bathing her, Emeralda spotted a blistered spot in the crook of her hand. It became apparent that a drop of hot oil had spluttered on to the baby's hand on the previous day. Until that moment, Emeralda was unaware of what had happened, and so was unable to understand the cause of the baby's distressful cry. This was the point at which Emeralda started paying attention to the cries of babies. She realized it was an essential means of communicating.

Over the years, she realized that a child's fussy, sporadic cry meant that she was uncomfortable. In most situations, the temperature was a contributing factor. The child's clothing may need adjustments based on the weather condition to ensure comfortability. At other times, the child may require a change of diapers. Sometimes a change of scenery is necessary, for example, taking the baby outdoors.

Emeralda finds it quite humorous that after a chld is fed after a particularly persistent and demanding cry, she makes reprimanding sounds as if asking, "What took you so long?" On the other hand, a sudden loud noise or any unexpected movement usually evoke a startled, loud cry of fear. The child will have to be pacified to regain her sense of safety.

An open mouth, toothless smile with gurgling, syllabic sounds indicate immense happiness. It leaves a permanent image of joy on the minds of those who are favoured with this smile. Emeralda is convinced that if anyone tries to understand a baby's cries and smiles then it would be the first step in establishing a lifelong bond with the child.


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