Why Do Babies Cry?

All healthy, happy babies cry – there is no exception to this rule. Crying is the only way a baby can let someone know that he is hungry, wet, tired, or sick.  It won’t take long before you can identify why your baby is crying simply from the sound of the cry. Cries for different reasons do sound differently.

Generally when baby cries your will decide if it’s feeding time and if so, you can feed him. If not, the next thing to check is the diaper. Most babies do not like the feel of a wet or dirty diaper. If the diaper is dry, baby may be hot or cold, or maybe something is hurting him. If it’s cool in the room, try putting a blanket around him or a sweater on him. If the temperature seems okay, make sure clothes fit appropriately and nothing else is poking him, like a tag.

Your baby may just want to be held or may be relieving stress. Yes, babies do get stressed, especially if a lot of things are going on around him. If you suspect your baby has had enough attention and that is why he is crying, take him to his crib and let him stay there away from the action. Babies will also cry from exhaustion. Just like we get overtired without falling asleep, babies can do the same.  You cannot spoil and infant, regardless of what your great grandmother may tell you.

Baby may cry if they do not feel well. If you suspect something is wrong with your baby, see your baby’s pediatrician. If your baby never cries you should also go to the pediatrician. Some babies cry due to colic. Colic is excessive crying for at least 3 hours a day, 3 days a week for 3 weeks. Babies usually grow out of it around 3 months of age. Colic is very stressful for the rest of the family so try not to become frustrated.

Some babies just need to cry.  Crying is not going to hurt your baby. However, some things you can do to comfort a crying baby when all other needs have been met include: holding baby tight, rocking baby, massaging baby, changing the scenery, giving them a pacifier or something else to suck, or swaddling them. If the baby needs to cry, let him. Make sure you are getting plenty of rest, exercise and eating right so that a crying baby does not upset the household.

Learn more about baby headbands at our baby health care website.