According to a Japanese proverb: “A crying child thrives.” A recent study that examines the complexity of an infant’s cries in relation to his or her language development seems to offer a scientific basis for this folk wisdom.

For babies whose cries exhibited complex melodies by the age of two months, the study, published in the The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal, says the probability of a language delay greatly decreases. Those whose cries were less complex had a greater chance of  language delays by two years.

In addition, the study examined the language development in infants with cleft lip and cleft palate. The findings suggest distinguishing characteristics heard in the cries of those infants with a cleft and those without. This research is important because the findings may offer new treatments to help language development for infants with clefts.

The psychology of crying is nothing new. In study after study, scientists have documented the catharsis that only a good cry can bring. For infants, crying is the sole form of communication and there are three distinct types: A “basic cry” is a rhythmic pattern consisting of a cry followed by silence; an “anger cry” is similar to a basic cry but with more volume due to the release of excessive air through the infant’s vocal chords; and a “pain cry” is a loud cry followed by periods of breath holding.

Infants also exhibit what is called a “simple cry melody” – a crying arc consisting of a single rise and then a fall. According to researchers, it is the segmentation of these melodies by momentary pauses and respiratory movement that leads to syllable production.

Speaking of babies – do bilingual babies actually have more brain power? Find out here.

White chocolate ice cream scoops up a grand finale

Chicago Sun-Times April 14, 1991 | Betty Rosbottom For the past few years, I have enjoyed being a member of a small book club. This reading group, composed of 10 women, meets monthly to discuss a literary work chosen by a fellow member. The selections have been as varied as the collective interests of this special circle.

The format for our gatherings is always the same: The person who picks the book hosts dinner and leads the discussion. What I like best is that members put a significant emphasis on the meal that accompanies our literary discussion. They are all of the mind that good food seems to sharpen the intellect as well as the palate.

This month it is my turn to host the get-together. After choosing Evan Connell’s Mr. Bridge and Mrs. Bridge as the books, I began to work on a menu. Since the setting for these books spans the 1920s and 1930s, I decided to prepare updated versions of dishes that are typical of that era.

For appetizers, there will be warm mushroom pinwheels (made with puff pastry instead of sandwich bread), followed by a casserole (casseroles figure prominently at the Bridges’ dinner table) of veal, red peppers and onions, and a tossed salad.

Ice cream seemed an appropriate dessert, but I wanted to serve something more interesting than several scoops in a sherbet glass. A good friend supplied me with a delicious recipe: a white chocolate ice cream terrine garnished with strawberry sauce.

The evening was a complete success. The conversation was lively and the food well received. And, of all the dishes offered, the dessert was the universal favorite. To make it, cream, half-and-half, vanilla and white chocolate are simmered together and combined with beaten eggs and sugar. For the sauce, fresh pureed strawberries are mixed with sugar, lemon juice and Triple Sec and then cooked. Both the terrine and the sauce can be made ahead so there is no last-minute work. RECIPE TOM JOHNSON’S WHITE CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM WITH STRAWBERRY SAUCE Terrine: website chocolate ice cream recipe

1 cup whipping cream 2 cups half-and-half 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise 1 pound white chocolate, finely chopped 3 large eggs 1/3 cup sugar 1/4 cup Amaretto Strawberry sauce:

1/2 cup superfine sugar, or more if needed 1/2 cup Triple Sec 1 quart strawberries, rinsed, hulled and pureed in food processor or blender 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 10 to 12 fresh mint sprigs To prepare terrine, place cream, half-and-half and vanilla bean in large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat and heat until scalded. Reduce heat to bare simmer and simmer 30 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Remove vanilla bean, scrape pulp into cream mixture and discard pods.

Place 1/2-cup cream mixture in top of double boiler set over simmering water. Add chocolate and cook, stirring, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. see here chocolate ice cream recipe

Beat eggs on medium-high speed in bowl of electric mixer until frothy. Then in a thin stream, gradually add sugar. Beat several minutes until mixture is thick and pale yellow in color. Lower speed to slow and add Amaretto. On slow speed, add melted chocolate mixture and remaining cream mixture. Mix well to blend. Transfer mixture to ice cream machine and process according to manufacturer’s directions.

Line 1-quart terrine or loaf pan with 2 sheets of wax paper so that paper extends several inches over long sides of pan. Lightly grease paper with nonstick spray. Fill pan with ice cream mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 24 hours.

To prepare sauce, combine sugar and Triple Sec in medium, non-aluminum saucepan over medium-high heat and stir to dissolve sugar. Add berries and lemon juice and bring to simmer. Simmer, stirring, 5 minutes. Remove and cool. Taste and add additional sugar if necessary. Cover and refrigerate sauce. Sauce can be made 2 to 3 days ahead.

To unmold, run knife around edges of pan. Lift terrine out and remove paper. Cut terrine into 3/4-inch slices and serve on dessert plates. Garnish each serving with chilled strawberry sauce and mint sprig. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Betty Rosbottom


  1. herMom -  September 7, 2011 - 11:44 am

    may i just say your all wrong. okay i’m only joking but hey no don’t fight over something u have absolutely no control over unless its your child!
    children cry, they dont cry, movies, no movies…..this is LIFE people deal!

  2. jason -  August 25, 2011 - 2:47 am

    Pronunciation is defined as “the conventional patterns of treatment of the sound and stress patterns of a syllable or word.” Relaxed pronunciation, also called word slurring or condensed pronunciation, happens when

  3. jason -  August 25, 2011 - 2:47 am

    i agree

  4. jason -  August 25, 2011 - 2:45 am

    I love this , So does My boyfriend .he is almost 11year older than me .i met him via _AgeGapSingles.C o m_ a nice place for seeking age le ss love.which gives you a chance to make your life better and open opportunities for you to meet the attractive young girls and treat you like a king. Maybe you wanna check it out or tell your friends.. Just love it

  5. cloobinator -  August 19, 2011 - 7:30 pm

    “Uncomfortability”? I believe the correct term is “discomfort”…

  6. deji ogundimu -  August 5, 2011 - 6:41 pm

    I knew babies communicate through their cries but this is more of an indepth analysis .

  7. deji ogundimu -  August 5, 2011 - 6:38 pm

    I knew babies communicates through their cries but this is more of an indepth analysis .

  8. Stormy -  July 29, 2011 - 9:08 pm

    Rita – You Just Sound Mean.

  9. mirjo -  July 27, 2011 - 7:52 am

    Happier babies cry less? Now there’s some wisdom for ya. lol!

    The bottom line is that some babies cry a lot (are colicky, whatever) and some don’t. Those unfortunate parents who were blessed with an inconsolable infant –for whatever reason–are rightfully feeling attacked. As I stated before, researchers could better help parents, if they discovered what parents could do to help these infants when they cry uncontrollably for hours on end and whatnot. Apparently apparently colic is a GI issue causing cramps? If I had severe cramps for hours and was emotionally immature, I would wail nonstop too! babies cry when diapers are dirty, when hungry, tired, bored, want to be comforted, etc., b/c they can’t say they can’t communicate their needs any other way. When they’re happy, they smile and coo. Anyone who has had children knows this.

    So, duh, happier babies cry less. I don’t get the useless debate on cultural differences–an African (or other) baby has the same basic needs to be tended and communicates the same way.

  10. Muthasucka -  July 25, 2011 - 10:25 am

    @ Helena Rose

    Michele’s comment very much was judging parents for not meeting their baby’s needs, and she didn’t come close to saying “happier babies cry less often,” in fact she said “In many cultures, ONLY sick children cry” (emphasis mine).

    And, y’know what, even if she WAS saying “happier babies cry less often” that’s almost just as bad. So my baby was not a happy baby because he cried for food in the middle of the night? You people really need to get off your high horses.

    Our first child was a terrible breast feeder. He wouldn’t latch, couldn’t get good suction, and would stop eating soon after he started. We saw lactation consultants, used various contraptions to help him feed better, and he eventually got the hang of it.

    I’m betting that these wonderful cultures where women hold their babies all day long and enjoy the wisdom of their elders are also cultures with limited access to health care and medical information and likely have much higher infant mortality and illness rates than the West.

    Without proper access to formula, bottles, and feeders my baby would have died. I refuse to accept that there is one way to do something like feeding or caring for individual babies, or that one culture knows better than another. I think it’s chauvinistic and ignorant to make a blanket statement about the “proper” way someone else should raise their own child. There’s always something you haven’t considered.

  11. eater -  July 25, 2011 - 2:53 am

    sa is it about people speaking different languages or is it about people speaking same language but having different articulation capacity?

  12. Helena Rose -  July 24, 2011 - 3:24 pm

    Don’t have time to waste, but this seems rather catching topic, judging by the number of people writing in. Just wanted to say that couple of people here have been rather unkind to Michele Tehereux’s contribution, especially Muthasucka. Michele only tried to point out that happier babies cry less often, if was not judging parents if they can’t meet their baby’s needs for reasons such as having to go to work!

  13. mirjo -  July 24, 2011 - 2:42 pm

    We need more studies on how scientists come-up with “study” ideas. While the concept of complex vs simplistic cry tones predicting future language skills is fascinating (and certainly gives those ultra-proud parents a little something extra to coo about), isn’t there something else of more use that could be studied? Just because something is interesting and these things generally are, doesn’t mean the time and money wasted were worth it.

    I love babies, I think they’re wonderful, so I’m not a hater here. That said:

    @Nya “…but if the parents don’t think that at times, their baby is cute and fun, what kind of parents would they be?”

    The problem isn’t that parents think their baby is cute & fun, the problem is that they think everyone else shares the same opinion of Jr. and it’s not the case 90% (or more) of the time. Small children should be socialized, but when they start getting cranky/ disruptive to others, it’s time to leave. It’s called ‘common courtesy’ and it very much seems to be missing these days.

  14. Estevao -  July 24, 2011 - 12:59 pm

    Folks, l would like everybody knows that baby cries because it is a natural phenomenon, it means that baby is feeling or want something.

  15. Dragodrix -  July 24, 2011 - 7:08 am

    Seriously? Then this is pretty cool. So the next time I hear a baby cry, I walk up to it and ask it to cry again. Then I sit down, take notes and analyse the cry, whether it’s a basic, anger or pain cry-or if its a simple cry melody. Then I look up to the mother and tell her my results and also let her know if her baby is going to have a language delay or something. Yeah, I’ll do that.

  16. rtaylortitle -  July 24, 2011 - 7:01 am

    Poppycock! Try go shopping at Wally World (i.e. WalMart) one pleasant day to do some casual shopping and listen to the non-stop-mother-doesn’t-care crying, yelling, screaming and tantrums. It drives other shoppers crazy. Nothing cute or portentious about it. It just exhibits how the mothers themselves are guilty of coddling and spoiling. I’ve never seen such inane habits and lack of courteous social behavior.

  17. Carlitos -  July 24, 2011 - 5:01 am

    I would welcome any arrogant, right-brained, wordsmart and learned professor, doctor, man, woman, etc., to dare profess that they know more than a well-balanced, attuned, attentive and intuitive mother who has grown said baby, birthed it, nursed it and held it all those times…

    A mother who knows how to be a mother has gained that knowledge via instinct/collective-unconscious or whatever you want to call it, over a thousand generations of trial and error, success and failure, and here comes “Mr. Nerdsworth” who thinks he can figure it out with some limited study and after reading some books, maybe even writing a few.

    Now that being said, there is often a disconnect between mother and baby in the Western world. Don’t worry African or Asian mom- your time is coming too and your children will also suffer your selfishness. In an ever-more individualized society with more and more of a need for instant gratification and a 30 second answer to everything, maternal instinct will be reduced in favor of “Dr. Fahkstick’s Guide to Happy and healthy Babies.”

  18. Z Z Z -  July 24, 2011 - 4:53 am

    As far as I know, boys development are slower than girls.
    Glad that i have blessed with baby girl who’s now 1 year and 4 mos old.
    Very healthy and clever baby.
    Nothing I could ask for more…
    Thankful to God for a very PRECIOUS GIFT..:)

  19. cml -  July 23, 2011 - 7:47 pm

    I wonder if a baby that cries complex melodies is more partial to the melodies themselves. We hear them in the way people speak and sing. Maybe the babies are partial to the motion of notes? The say the musically inclinded can understand language more. Of course, that’s just an idea. It just crossed my mind reading the article. I like articles that make people think. It makes communication interesting.

  20. icrt -  July 23, 2011 - 6:45 pm

    desfd on July 21, 2011 at 3:12 pm
    am i the only one who’s confused by: “For babies whose cries exhibited complex melodies by the age of two months, … the probability of a language delay greatly decreases. Those whose cries were less complex had a greater chance of language delays by two years.”
    so if you have a complex cry, sorry you’ll have a language delay. less complex? oh sorry, language delay.”


    “greately DECREASES”
    They are not saying the same.

    Besides, (sorry, I’m not English so mind any mistakes)… besides, the important thing about this article its not about language delay being a big issue and how to prevent it.
    The fact that scientists found the connection between the crying and the language delay. That’s what this article is about. because this new discover opens doors to development in new treatments for kids born with clefts.
    Its not like people need to be worried checking the child’s type of crying so they can know if hes gonna talk before or after hes 2 yrs old.

    Or am I wrong? =/

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