Why do babies cry? It’s not always clear exactly why, but you can be sure when your baby cries, they’re trying to communicate with you that something isn’t right. Crying is the major way which young babies communicate with others.
Babies don’t cry to annoy the people close to them, or because they are being naughty or grumpy, babies just cry, it’s what they do. Some babies seem to be more sensitive to change and discomfort than others, though ignoring their cries won’t make them change their behaviour. Usually, a feed and a cuddle, then a sleep will help to soothe and comfort them.
Fortunately, crying hardly ever indicates a major physical problem or illness. If you are worried about your baby, have them reviewed by a doctor to rule out a physical cause for their distress.
At most times, a crying baby is healthy, even for babies who cry for what can seem to be a long time. Your doctor will be able to examine your little one and take a careful history from you. Having your baby physically checked will give you more understanding about the cause for your baby’s crying.
Here are the types of issues your crying baby may be trying to tell you, and ways you can help support them:
Always have your baby checked by a doctor if you are worried or they don’t soothe. Although it’s normal for babies to cry, it’s important to rule out any physical cause for crying. You can also check with your Child Health Nurse to learn settling strategies for your baby.
Reviewed and edited by Jane Barry, midwife and child health nurse on 3 June 2021.