How Much Crying Is Normal for a Baby?

For exhausted parents, at their wits’ end about their baby crying, have to wonder if their baby’s crying is normal. If their baby seems to cry all the time, this can be enervating and hugely frustrating for the parents who may wonder what is normal when it comes to baby crying.

The fact is that ‘normal’ is a very variable term: while it may be perfectly normal for one baby to cry a lot, other babies seem perfectly content to go days without crying. However if your baby seems to cry an awful lot, you can take heart from this: most babies spend as much as 7% of their time crying.


After all there is little other than crying that a baby can accomplish on its own, and crying is the only form of communication that a baby has.

Feeling lonely or bored, physical pain or discomfort, hunger and even general excitement will all produce pretty much the same response; that of crying from a baby.

Often the baby crying may have no reason at all and an estimated one in four babies tend to have crying jags for seemingly no reason at all.

So what is excessive crying?

Within sometime, parents are usually able to tell what a ‘normal’ cry is and what is not ‘normal’. For instance a parent can tell apart that little whining that signals hunger from a startled cry of pain that a baby may give.

Also baby’s crying can be predictable: for instance many babies seem to have a preset time each day when they have colic or similar discomfort when they proceed to cry for a sustained period.

However any unusual kind of crying, that differs from the regular sort of sounds that baby makes, should alert parents. Also crying that sounds tired or weak, irregular crying that seems to include gulping and gasping or any difficulty breathing is something that parents should be very concerned about.

So rather than the quantity of crying, parents should concern themselves with the quality of crying.

What should parents be worried about?

Sometimes illness or infection could be behind the crying – a middle ear infection, rash, tummy infection, and other serious problems could be causes for concern.

Consider whether a breast feeding mother’s diet can be aggravating indigestion in the baby (grapes, cow’s milk and citrus foods when eaten by the mother may be poorly tolerated.)

If baby shows any other signs of illness, such as fever, rash, weakness, poor appetite along with the crying, promptly report this.


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