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Infants Emotional Communication

Infants First Form of Emotional Communication

baby crying


It’s said that the ability of infants to communicate their emotions involves coordinated interactions with their caregivers and thus an emotional connection between them is birthed. Not only does a parent change their emotional expressions in response to infants’ emotional expressions, but infants also modify their emotional expression in response to their parents’ emotional expression. In other words these interactions are mutually regulated (Bridgett and others, 2009). Parents and caregivers play a huge role in developing their infants emotionally.


Common Early Emotional Expressions in Infants

Infants’ first forms of emotional communication are crying and smiling. Today I will explain the different types of crying and in next week’s blog I will touch on smiling in infants.

Crying: is a powerful mechanism that infants use in communicating with their external world. There are three types of crying and it’s crucial that caregivers are able to identify them to ensure that the needs of the infant are fully met.

Pain Cry in Infants:

This is usually a very sudden or impromptu cry, usually loud, following by breath holding. This type of crying is usually triggered by a high-intensity stimulus; in order words something is causing the infant a lot of discomfort and pain.

Basic Cry in infants:

Most childcare experts’ claim that hungers triggers such a type of cry. It usually has a rhythmic pattern where the infant cries and then stops and then cries again. The pitch in this cry is higher.

Anger Cry in Infants:

This is a variation of the basic cry which more excess air is forced out of the lungs ( John W. Santrock ).


It’s important that caregivers are quickly able to determine the cry of an infant to ensure that the care they provide the child at the time, matches the infant’s unique needs.

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