Babies cry from the moment they are born. It is one of the ways babies show what they need. A baby may cry when it is hungry, has a dirty diaper, wants attention, is in pain, unwell, stressed or just tired and wants to sleep.
Normal crying behavior
From birth to 6 to 8 weeks of age, babies cry more. At the age of 6 to 8 weeks, babies cry an average of 2 to 2.5 hours a day. After that, the number of hours babies cry per day decreases again. After roughly 3 months the crying time has reduced 1 to 1.5 hours per day.
From 4 months on, babies are more interested in their environment. They can communicate and make contact more easily. This gives babies more opportunities to express themselves. The crying will then diminish more.
From 7 months, babies start using more and more gestures and words which will result in even less crying. A baby often cries at this age only as a last resort. For example in case of fatigue or stress.
What can you do?
It is important to look closely at your baby so that you can learn to recognize the signals. Often the crying stops when you respond to the signals. For example, by feeding, changing, comforting your baby by holding him close to you, by talking to him or by putting your baby to bed on time. You can also try to prevent crying by keeping your baby with you a lot and by creating more regularity and a peaceful environment.
Lots of crying
It is very annoying and stressful when your baby keeps crying and you don’t know why. This can make you feel very, very powerless. Usually there is no medical reason, but it is important to check this. If you have any questions about your baby’s crying behavior, please contact your GP or the ‘Centrum voor Jeugd en Gezin’ (Center for Youth and Family) (CJG).