Translating Babies' Cries — a Better Bowlingual?

from the And-He-Just-Missed-The-Ig-Nobel dept

A Spanish inventor claims to have invented a device that will decipher todlers’ cries so as to tell parents what’s up. This has a slightly larger market than our Ig Nobel-winning favorite product, the dog translator, bowlingual. Side note: if any of our readers can figure out how I can get my hands on one in late February ’03, I’d appreciate it!

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Comments on “Translating Babies' Cries — a Better Bowlingual?”

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Steve Snyder says:

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I have a 7 month old and I can see both sides to this–there are times where she just cried and cried and we couldn’t figure out why–so I can see the usefulness of something like this. But I seriously doubt the effectiveness such a contraption.

One thing I’ve learned above all else is that every baby is different. My daughter won’t sit still for more than a few minutes, she’s constantly wanting to play or look at things or movie around. My cousin is almost the same age, and is content to just sit back and look around, never needing to really move or be entertained. Also, my daughter doesn’t cry when she has a wet/dirty diaper. It just doesn’t bother her I guess, so there’s no cry to associate with that.

I imagine there are certain characteristics of a cry that can be classified a little bit–volume, pitch, duration, whether it’s short or long sobs, etc. But most of these are only relative to the baby’s other cries. My daughter has a heck of a set of lungs, so her little “I’m bored” whimper is louder than my cousin’s “I just hurt myself” wail. So unless this device uses some type of learning logic that you train, it wouldn’t work very well.

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