Why does my baby continuously cry?

Q: My 2-month-old cries a lot. Will she be crankier than other kids who don't cry as much now?

A: Don't worry -- even if your baby is wailing all the time now, research shows that young babies who are fussy are not more likely to grow up grouchier than their peers. So what's behind all those tears?

• Some babies' central nervous systems are more sensitive and reactive to stimulation from the outside world. As they mature within the first four months, they usually become better able to handle the many sights and sounds they're rapidly encountering.• If your infant spits up a lot, or regularly pulls away during feedings, often stretching and turning her neck, gastroesophageal reflux disease may be making her irritable. GERD is a complication of frequent reflux -- stomach acids backing up into the esophagus and sometimes out of the mouth. Talk to your baby's doctor if you suspect GERD.• She may have colic -- continuous crying for more than three hours, three days a week, during the first three months. Although a definite cause is unknown, colic will go away and won't harm your baby's development or demeanor.

Whatever the cause of your child's crankiness, it's important to find ways for you both to cope. If nothing works to soothe her, put her down in a safe place for five to 10 minutes. She (and you!) may need a total break from stimulation -- the rocking, singing, and talking -- to calm down.

Originally published in American Baby magazine, November 2005. Updated 2009.

2 Comments

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  2. My baby never slept well (especially through the night) until I started using the website www.SleepBaby.org - that website has been by far one of the best things I've ever got my hands on to get him to fall asleep quickly. Best time is 45 seconds from awake to asleep! Can’t imagine life without it! I heard about it through a kindergarten teacher who uses it to put to sleep a group of 30 children. Check it out! Best of luck to you and your family :)



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