Babies Really Do Fake-Cry
It's a technique to get what they want: study
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jan 18, 2014 8:55 AM CST
Babies may actually be manipulating us.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Looks like babies have been tricking us. Just as many parents suspected, infants sometimes cry without actually being upset, a new study suggests. Instead, their tears are aimed at getting what they want, the Week reports. A researcher in Japan reviewed 102 crying episodes of two babies; he filmed the infants for 60 minutes a month over half a year, the BPS Research Digest reports. Usually, the infants appeared upset both before and after tears—but not always.

Moms called these moments "fake crying," the study says. In the case of one of the babies, 98% of crying episodes followed a negative experience. When she was 11 months old, however, she appeared cheerful and giggling both before and after an instance of tears. "Infant R appeared to cry deliberately to get her mother's attention," says the study's author. "She showed (a) smile immediately after her mother came closer." This particular infant had two siblings, whereas the other baby studied had none; it may be that R was competing for her mom's attention, but that's just speculation, the BPS Research Digest notes. (On the bright side, the smell of babies is like a drug to moms.)

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Showing 3 of 23 comments
Mar 25, 2014 10:47 PM CDT
In all reality this isn't even "fake" crying. Calling it "fake crying" indicates that the baby does not have an unfulfilled need. Babies literally NEED attention, and a lot of it. They thrive off of it. So essentially, they are NOT "fake crying," they are just doing something most parents consider inconvenient.
Mar 25, 2014 10:39 PM CDT
Well DUH. Infants can only communicate through crying. Infants thrive off of attention. Responding to your baby's cry for love is NOT going to turn it into some spoiled brat who runs the show, it is following the most basic of natural processes. Come on people, your 11 month old is MADE to be with you the majority of the time. None of you like to be ignored either. Educate yourselves.
Jan 20, 2014 12:39 AM CST
Well, duh.