Birth to 4 Months - Crying

Pregnancy and Beyond

Crying is your baby's first form of communication. Babies cry differently for different reasons like hunger, physical discomfort, and stress. As you learn to translate your baby's cries you will be able to recognize what he needs.

If your baby continues to cry after you have fed and changed him, he might be tired, bored, lonely, or need to be held. Avoid feeding baby every time he cries.

When your baby cries there are a variety of ways to comfort and soothe him, including the following:

It is important that you respond to your baby when he cries. Your prompt response teaches your baby that help is nearby. Checking on and comforting your baby will not "spoil" him. This makes him feel comfortable and loved. However, it is okay for your baby to cry for a few minutes while he is falling asleep after you have taken care of all his needs.

Sometimes babies display vigorous crying that cannot be soothed by feeding, rocking or other comforting measures. These crying spells usually occur in the evening. They often increase in length and intensity after 4 weeks of age and continue until 6 to 10 weeks of age. Here are some suggestions to help parents get through this difficult time:

Never shake your baby! If you feel you might hurt your baby, call the Parental Stress Helpline at 1-800-367-2543.