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Baby Development-Understanding Why a Baby Cries

Updated on April 16, 2012

When a baby cries it is because they are trying to tell you something. It is their only means of communicating with the other people around them. It does not matter where in the world you may live, all parents understand that when their baby cries, they are looking for something.

During the first few months of a babies life, he will cry the most. There are different varying degrees of cries from your baby, each one with a different purpose in mind. Sometimes they may cry loudly for a short period of time, other times they may howl for what seems like hours and hours. Other times, they may just whimper or whine until they are talked to. Getting to know what each of these cries are for, is one of the important things a new parent must figure out.

While there may be many reasons why a baby will cry, most reasons fall under three general categories.

"I'm Hungry!!!"

Especially in the first few months, your little one will want to eat all the time. If he is breastfed, he will more than likely cry to be fed every hour or two. As most newborns only have a belly the size of a walnut it does not take much time for that to be emptied out. Usually these cries are persistent, demanding and almost seem to have a rhythmical pattern. If you are unsure whether it is a hunger cry, you can usually tell by putting your pinky finger or a soother in their mouth. If they try to suck on it fiercely, they are hungry.

"My diaper is full!"

Discomfort is also another reason why a baby will cry. While it may not always be a wet or poopy diaper, discomfort can come in many forms. They will cry when they are teething, they will cry if they hurt themselves, or find themselves in any position they find uncomfortable. This cry may vary between a whimpering or an out and out howl depending on the severity of their pain. If your baby is not comforted, or quiets down once you have attended to him, you may want to call a doctor or go to the emergency as it could be something like an ear infection which is harder to determine without a check up.

Another form of discomfort for a baby is when they are disturbed. If they have been up for a long time and are trying to finally go to sleep, any loud noises, screaming older children running around, or even a high pitched whistling kettle that goes off can put your baby into a crying fit.

"Play with me! I'm bored."

Boredom is a big thing for babies. Being that they are constantly learning and wanting to try new things, if they do not have enough to keep them entertained or occupied, they can become bored and restless. If you watch your baby throughout the day, you will see his patterns. There will be times during the day when he is the most alert and attentive. It is during these times that you will want to play with him or teach him new things. Even bringing him into the kitchen with you while you do the dishes and talking to him, blowing bubbles at him, or tickling him, will give him something to giggle about. Babies like to move about as well, so setting up the swing with a mobile or music, putting him in a jolly jumper attached to the door jam while you sweep around him. You can give him a little push or bounce every so often. You will usually know when your baby is bored because his cries will be more rhythmical with moans and sobbing.

As the days go by, you will begin to recognize all your baby's various cries and learn how to soothe and comfort your little one. As time will pass, the crying will diminish and the words will come one by one making it easier for you to attend to your child's needs as they grow.


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    • ebookshack profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Bremner 

      7 years ago from Canada

      I am sure there are many reasons why a baby cries. I come from a family of six children with a mom who always looked after other people's children as well. I know have 4 of my own and used to do babysitting as well when my older kids were young. I believe that these are the primary reasons most little ones cry.

    • moneycop profile image


      7 years ago from JABALPUR

      Is it still possible to know why a baby cries, i read your hub, found it good but still amazed towards perfection


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