Why Babies Cry

Babies cry for the same reason adults talk - to communicate. Crying is the only way for infants to tell us when something is wrong. But while the baby may know what's wrong, it's often more difficult for new parents to decipher the meaning of their baby's cries. As your baby grows, you will learn to recognize and differentiate among her various cries. 

Newborns sometimes cry up to four hours a day, and each cry can send a different message. 

I'm in pain 
Generally unmistakably loud and sudden, with long high-pitched shrieks followed by a pause and then a wail. If you are unable to find a minor cause, you should call your healthcare provider immediately if this type of crying persists and the baby is inconsolable. 

I'm lonely or bored 
Often your baby's coos will turn to a wail if she doesn't get the attention she wants or needs. Rest assured that no amount of love, cuddling, hugging, and caring will spoil your baby in the first six months. 

I'm tired or uncomfortable 
If your baby's cries are whiny, nasal, and continuous, chances are she's overtired, about to have a bowel movement, too warm, too cold, or otherwise uncomfortable. 

I just need to cry 
If your baby is "good" all day, sometimes she just needs to release energy by crying. This usually occurs at the end of the day, or the "witching hour." 

I'm cranky 
Some babies are just fussy by nature. Irritable crying varies in duration and occurs randomly, without an apparent cause. 

I have gas 
Gas is very common in infants, affecting more than half of all newborns. Gas bubbles can cause discomfort, leading to crankiness and crying. Many infants with gas will also pull their legs up, lying in a curled position for relief.