Letter: In Brief

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Ed Walker's advice to parents of fretful babies ("Even the gentlest shake can kill", 8 December) fails to mention the two most obvious forms of pacification. Unless an infant is ill or in pain, crying indicates either hunger or loneliness. Feeding on demand and carrying in arms or using a sling calms babies far more effectively than "putting them in their cots."

In societies where young children remain close to their mothers and are frequently offered the breast, crying is rare.

DEBORAH THOMAS

Dublin

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