New research shows babies don’t just wail to any tune. Rather, newborns cry with accents! ABC News featured the research in an article this week, showing that children mimick the natural cadence of their parents’ native languages.
French newborns in the study ended their cries with a lilt at the end typically heard in French. German babies, however, started their cries intensely and dropped off at the end — much like the emphasis their German parents put in a sentence, according to a study published Thursday in Current Biology.
Experts in child development say the most exciting part of this discovery is not that infants recognize the melody of their language, but that the newborns may have the ability to use what they heard in the womb to then control their cries.
So while some claim that an unborn child is just a blob of tissue, that “blob” is growing and learning too! Dr. Rahil Briggs, a child psychologist, says in the article that though they’re in the womb, unborn babies are taking in a lot:
I think that the state of the science is such that we’re only going to learn more and more about how incredibly active these early infant and even fetal brains are. Although they can’t tell us what they’re learning and what they remember and taking in at this moment, we know that it really is getting lodged in their brain.
So the next time you hear a baby crying, just think that it took a lot of learning to get there.