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The Crying Baby

Crying is normal and is the only way your baby can let you know that something is upsetting them and that they need you. When babies cry they may be:

  • hungry
  • thirsty
  • too hot
  • too cold
  • unwell
  • in pain
  • over-tired, or
  • uncomfortable

They may have been startled and just need to be resettled by holding close and cuddling for a while.

There are some babies who cry a lot from the time they are born. They pull up their legs, clench their fists, go red in the face and become very distressed. The problem may be worse in the afternoons and evenings. Other babies may develop severe attacks of crying when they are a few weeks old. After six to eight weeks, these severe periods of crying usually become less intense and most babies become more settled at about four to five months old. But some babies may continue to cry for longer than that. If this happens, remember your baby has a lot of growing and developing to do and will eventually be able to stay calm for longer.

It can be worrying when your baby won't stop crying or has terrible attacks of crying, especially when you can't find what is wrong. Something is upsetting your baby but you may not be able to find out what it is. It's not necessary to ignore the crying because you can't find a reason for it. Your baby is not "being naughty", "getting spoiled" or  "trying to get their own way".

Babies often need a lot of soothing and holding when they are very upset. Some babies, especially those who are very alert and physically active, may need more help than others to settle. Babies will not develop bad habits or become spoilt if they are comforted and soothed when they are distressed.

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