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Differentiating between a child’s cry due to pain and mild discomfort comes from experience

A study shows that an adult’s ability to differentiate between a child’s cries of pain and mild discomfort comes with experience. Being able to tell whether a baby is in pain is vital information for new parents, and it may be difficult to decipher if the parents are inexperienced with childcare. The study, published in the journal Current Biology, shows that parents with young children are much better at decoding babies’ cries than adults with little or no childcare experience. This study is one portion of the broader research that explores the nature of information encoded in children and how it is communicated.

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