Infant Crying pp 325-340 | Cite as

Application of Cry Research to Clinical Perspectives

  • T. Berry Brazelton


The first cry of the infant that accompanies his or her entry into the world heralds his or her integrity. If his or her,cry is lusty and full bodied, it serves the important purpose of expanding and filling the lungs, and it says to those around, “I’m ready to go.” Until recently, a successful delivery was thought of as one in which an actively crying baby was the result. Crying was expected to speed up the baby’s pulmonary effectiveness, as he or she made the transition from a passive recipient of oxygenation via the placenta to more active pulmonary oxygenation. As Leboyer (1975) and others have pointed out, the cry of the newborn is not a necessary part of its transition from dependent fetal circulation to independent cardiorespiratory effectiveness, but it does speed it up. Normal, healthy babies can make the transition without crying, but they probably achieve the physiological balance with their new environment more slowly. No research on the relative merits for the infant of either of these conditions—crying or not crying—has been reported, to the best of my knowledge.


Alert State Anticipatory Guidance Nervous System Damage Important Diagnostic Information Central Nervous System Insult 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Berry Brazelton
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Child DevelopmentThe Children’s HospitalUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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