Month-old babies do three things very well: sleep, eat, and cry. Most snooze for an average of 16 hours a day. And when awake, chances are they're eating, since a 45-minute feeding every three to four hours adds up to about five hours a day at the breast or bottle. If your baby seems to spend a good part of the remaining minutes crying, that too is not unusual. Crying time peaks in the sixth week of life, when most infants cry an average of approximately three hours each day.
In the past, some experts advised parents to let their parents to let their infants "cry it out" to avoid "spoiling" them. Now, however, most pediatricians and child psychologists agree that parents should respond to their baby's cries promptly and consistently, particularly in the early months.
Crying is your baby's way of telling you that he needs something. Answering his call assures him that he is important to you and builds trust between the two of you. Studies show that babies who are responded to promptly in the early months of life develop into more confident youngsters. Promptly soothing is always practical because the longer a baby is left alone to cry, the more intense the crying will become and the more difficult it will be to calm him down again.
If you readily respond to your infant's cries -- by offering her your breast or a bottle, a nap, a fresh diaper, or some extra cuddling time, for example -- yet she continues to cry, try not to be alarmed. Four out of five babies this age have crying jags daily that last 15 minutes to an hour-and these are not easily explained. The extra household activity that typically occurs around dinnertime might be the cause, since overstimulation is very stressful for babies. Some young infants also routinely cry themselves to sleep, most likely because they become overly tired.
All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.