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Why do babies cry?

When you’re a new parent your baby’s cries can be overwhelming. Remember it’s a new world outside the womb and your little one is adjusting to his new surroundings. Even knowing this, you may still be left wondering "WHY is my baby crying?" Crying is your baby’s way of talking to you and is a normal part of his growth and development; don’t fear it, learn from it.

2 mins to read Apr 20, 2017

Why babies cry can vary widely, but hunger, fussiness, wetness and being uncomfortable or tired are all reasons he’ll try to communicate with you by crying. And while some babies may cry more than others, they can eventually grow out of it.* So be patient, soon enough those tears will turn into smiles.

Why is my baby crying: The crying curve

Baby’s crying can follow a developmental pattern during the first three months of life – this pattern is referred to by many healthcare professionals as “the crying curve”1,2

crying curve
  • According to the crying curve, most babies’ crying begins to increase from 2-3 weeks of age, peaks around 6-8 weeks of age and then begins to gradually decline as they approach 12 weeks of age.
  • Crying tends to occur more frequently in the evening, but can also occur throughout the day1,2,3.

* Speak to your doctor if your baby’s crying is accompanied by fever, vomiting or diarrhea, if you feel there is a significant change in behaviour or could be due to an injury.

References:

  • Brazelton, TB. Crying in infancy. Pediatrics 29:579-588, 1962.

  • Hunziker, UA, Barr, RG. Increased carrying reduces infant crying: a randomized controlled trial. Pediatrics 77:641-648, 1986.

  • Sacks, D. ed. The Canadian Paediatric Society: Guide to Caring for Your Child from Birth to Age Five. Mississauga: John Wiley & Sons, Canada, 2009.

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