Researchers also found that the interaction that occurs when a mother responds to her baby's cries - even fake cries - contributes greatly to an infant's social and emotional development.

Researchers from the University of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo analysed the cries of two babies over a six-month period.

They looked for indications of emotion just before crying (including distressed sounds, grimacing, a downward turned lip, or a smile and laughter) and after crying stopped.

The children were always unhappy just before they started crying, and after crying stopped, 'LiveScience' reported.

However, in one instance, an 11-month-old infant showed positive emotions in the last few seconds before crying — which occurred when the mother moved away during playtime — and smiled again soon after the mother returned.

“The infant appeared to cry deliberately to get her mother's attention and convey to her [mother] that she wanted her to come closer and play with her again,” said study researcher Hiroko Nakayama.

"This appeared to be an instance of fake crying," Nakayama said.

Nakayama added that the term "fake" should not be taken as a negative in this context.

The interaction that occurs when a mother responds to her baby's cries ‘contributes greatly not only to an infant's social development but also to their emotional development’," Nakayama said.

The study was published in journal Infant Behavior and Development.


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