|Why African Babies Don't Cry:An African Perspective|
|by Claire Niala|
The first thing I noticed is that despite their ubiquitousness it is actually quite difficult to actually "see" a Kenyan baby. They are usually incredibly well wrapped up before being carried or strapped onto their mother (sometimes father).
Even older babies already strapped onto a back are then further protected from the elements by a large blanket. You would be lucky to catch a limb, never mind an eye or nose. It is almost a womb-like replication in the wrapping. The babies are literally cocooned from the stresses of the outside world into which they are entering.
My second observation was a cultural one. In the UK it was understood that babies cry - in Kenya it was quite the opposite. The understanding is that babies don't cry. If they do - something is horribly wrong and must be done to rectify it immediately. My English sister-in-law summarized it well. "People here" she said "really don't like babies crying, do they?"
It all made much more sense when I finally delivered and my grandmother came from the village to visit. As it happened - my baby did cry a fair amount, and exasperated and tired, I forgot everything I had ever read and sometimes joined in the crying too. Yet for my grandmother it was simple - nyonyo (breastfeed her!). It was her answer to every single peep.
There were times when it was a wet nappy, or the fact that I had put her down, or that she needed burping that was the problem, but mainly she just wanted to be at the breast - it didn't really matter whether she was feeding or just having a comfort moment. I was already wearing her most of the time and co-sleeping with her, so this was a natural extension to what we were doing.
I suddenly learned the not-so-difficult secret as to the joyful silence of African babies. It was a simple needs-met symbiosis that required a total suspension of ideas of "what should be happening" and an embracing of what was actually going on in that moment. The bottom line was that my baby fed a lot - far more than I had ever read about anywhere and at least five times as much as some of the stricter feeding schedules I had heard about.
My grandmother's gentle wisdom:
J. Claire K. Niala is a mother, osteopath & writer based in Nairobi, Kenya.
作者J. Claire K. Niala 是位媽媽、整骨醫生及作家，居住於肯亞奈洛比。
7 Benefits of Sleeping Close to Your Baby
Scientific Benefits of Co-Sleeping
Breastfeeding Linked to IQ (哺乳與IQ有關聯，可提昇嬰兒智商。 )
另外以下這篇網誌(瓶餵與親餵的不同 & 如何改善瓶餵)綜合分析了多篇研究：