A baby's cry can be upsetting and frustrating. It is designed to get your attention and you may be worried that something is wrong with your baby.
Your baby may start to cry more frequently at about 2 weeks of age. The crying may get more frequent and last longer during the next few weeks, hitting a peak at about 6 to 8 weeks.
Every baby is different, but after about 8 weeks, babies start to cry less and less each week.
Babies cry for many reasons - most commonly because they are uncomfortable or are unwell. This may be due to colic, reflux, constipation or infection amongst other things.
Below ares some things to look out for if your baby is crying that may suggest they are unwell.
If your child has any of the following:
Go to the nearest Hospital Emergency (A&E) Department or phone 999
Please ring your GP surgery or call NHS 111 - dial 111
Continue providing your child’s care at home. If you are still concerned about your child, call NHS 111 – dial 111
Colic can cause excessive, frequent crying in a baby who appears to be otherwise healthy. It’s a common problem that
affects up to one in five babies. Although the cause is unknown, it is likely to be due to intestinal discomfort like bowel
Colic tends to begin when a baby is a few weeks old. It normally stops by four months of age, or by six months at the
Looking after a colicky baby can be very frustrating and distressing, but the problem will eventually pass and is usually
nothing to worry about.
Signs and symptoms of colic include:
Comfort methods can sometimes soothe the baby and the crying will stop.
Babies can cry for reasons such as if they are hungry, tired, wet/dirty or they are unwell.
Check these basic needs and try some simple calming techniques:
These techniques may not always work. It may take a combination or more than one attempt to soothe your baby.
Not every baby is easy to calm but that doesn’t mean that you are doing anything wrong.
Don’t get angry with your baby or yourself. Instead, put your baby in a safe place and walk away so that you can calm
yourself down by doing something that takes your mind off the crying. Try:
After a few minutes when you are calm, go back and check on the baby.
It’s normal for parents to get stressed, especially by their baby crying. Put some time aside for yourself and taker care of
your needs as well as your baby’s to help you cope.
Handling a baby roughly will make them more upset. Shouting or getting angry with your baby will make things worse.
For help and support, take a look at the ICON website: http://iconcope.org/parentsadvice
This guidance is written by healthcare professionals from across Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight.