why african babies don’t cry


Why African Babies Don’t Cry?

It has long been a phenomenon that African babies are virtually silent when they are born. Despite being in many cultures considered a sign of good luck and fortune, the question remains: why African babies don’t cry?

The Physiological Explanations

One explanation is related to physiology. Studies have found that African babies are born with thinner skin than their western counterparts which allows for less air passage. This restricted air passage prevents the crying reflex from activating.

Furthermore, the lack of fatty cushioning under the skin of African babies may provide them with resistance against other forces such as squeezing or pinching. This means African babies are less likely to face painful sensations and thus cry from pain.

Finally, African babies are exposed to different environmental temperatures, possibly leading to adaptation of the crying reflex.

The Psychological Explanations

It has also been argued that African babies can’t cry because of psychological or cultural reasons.

From birth, African babies are mostly not affected by negative emotions, as they are surrounded by family members who usually love them. This in return leads to contentment which could potentially lead to the suppression of the crying reflex.

Furthermore, African babies may experience a lack of comfort from the environment as the African culture is more hands-on and direct, rather than using comfort items such as baby wraps. This in turn could generate passive emotional behavior which could lead to suppression of the crying reflex.


To conclude, the lack of crying behavior in African babies is due to a combination of both physiological and psychological factors.

Physiological factors may include:

  • Thinner skin.
  • Lack of fatty cushioning.
  • Environmental temperatures.

Psychological factors may include:

  • Absence of negative emotion.
  • Lack of comfort.
  • Passive emotional behavior.

Therefore, the lack of crying in African babies is mainly due to cultural and physiological reasons, rather than health related issues such as hearing loss.