Why do babies cry?

Got a fussy baby? There are a bunch of reasons why your little one may be upset. Here are the ones to watch out for, plus ways you can soothe her.

By Today's Parent


Check for physical causes Why do babies cry? Crying generally means something is not quite right in your baby’s world, so start with the obvious stuff. Is he hungry? Does he need a diaper change? Is he too warm or cold? Does he need a change of position? Has teething started?

Consider emotional causes Babies are happiest when they are in close physical contact, and are sometimes calmed simply by being picked up and held. They may also be overstimulated in a busy environment or bored in a quiet one.

Could she be tired or unwell? Check the clock to see how long your little one has been awake or if they’ve fed recently. Perhaps they’ve got a gassy tummy or a trapped burp?

Unfortunately, it might be Colic Colic, says UBC paediatrics professor Ron Barr, is not a different kind of crying—it’s just the extreme end of normal. While some babies wail for about 30 minutes in the evening, a colicky baby will go on for two hours or more, not because they have bad parents or even because there’s something wrong—just because.

A version of this article appeared in our April 2015 issue with the headline, “Your top 10 most googled parenting questions,” p.67

This article was originally published on Apr 15, 2016

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