Babies cry a lot in their first 3 months. On average, babies cry and fuss for almost 2 hours a day, and around 1 in 10 babies cry for a lot longer than this. Crying usually reaches a peak at about 6 weeks of age and then gradually lessens to approximately an hour a day by 12 weeks of age.
When your baby is around 3 months old, the crying likely will decrease to one hour or less a day, although some babies may cry regularly until they are 5 months of age, she says.
Crying decreases steadily and the fussy period is usually gone by 12 weeks. The "least" fussy babies cry at least 1 1/4 hours per day. The "fussiest" cry for upwards of four hours until 6 or 8 weeks, when the amount of fussing and crying starts to diminish.
They may be frustrated, sad, angry, or have separation anxiety (especially during the night) and use crying as a way to communicate those feelings. Teething pain is also a big reason for crying in older babies.
Colic is the main cause of recurrent crying during the early months. All babies have some normal fussy crying every day. When this occurs over 3 hours per day, it's called colic.
“Assuming there are no medical issues, there is no harm in a baby's excessive crying,” he says. “They may get a hoarse voice, but they will eventually get tired and stop crying. Your baby may also get a little gassy from swallowing air while crying, but that's OK.
Crying it out
It's OK to let your baby cry if the baby doesn't seem sick and you've tried everything to soothe your baby. You can try to leave your baby alone in a safe place, such as a crib, for about 10 to 15 minutes. Many babies need to cry before they can fall asleep.
Then around four months (or anywhere between three and six months), babies seem to change all over again, sometimes becoming more fussy, sleeping differently, and often being more distractible when nursing. These outward differences are a sign of the big developmental changes happening in your baby right now.
Boredom or loneliness. Colic. Discomfort or irritation from a wet or dirty diaper, excessive gas, or feeling cold. Hunger or thirst.
Newborns and young babies should never "cry it out," but you can let your 4-month-or-older baby cry themselves to sleep for up to 10 minutes at a time.
But many first-time parents find that after the first month of parenthood, it can actually get more difficult. This surprising truth is one reason many experts refer to a baby's first three months of life as the “fourth trimester.” If months two, three, and beyond are tougher than you expected, you're not alone.
Most people find the first six to eight weeks to be the hardest with a new baby, and whilst people may not openly discuss many of the challenges in these early weeks of parenthood (if at all), there are a number of common hurdles you may face at this time.
Forget the terrible twos and prepare for the hateful eights ‒ parents have named age 8 as the most difficult age to parent, according to new research. Eight being the troublesome year likely comes as a surprise to many parents, especially since parents polled found age 6 to be easier than they expected.
Responding to crying
But even if your crying baby isn't sick, hurt, uncomfortable or hungry, it's still important to comfort them. For example, you could try cuddling or rocking them, taking them for a walk, or giving them a baby massage.
It's normal for a baby to cry for 2–3 hours a day for the first 6 weeks. During the first 3 months of life, they cry more than at any other time. New parents often are low on sleep and getting used to life with their little one.
The trouble is, every parent and baby is different and so normal can be hard to define. A 2017 review of studies from around the world found: On average, babies cry for around two hours a day in the first six weeks. Crying decreases from eight to nine weeks to around one hour at 10 to 12 weeks.
So if a baby's needs are ignored by them being left to cry it out, then a mother's milk supply can suffer. So, the less we feed our babies, the less milk our body thinks we need to make.
Infants can typically grasp this concept starting between 4 and 8 months old—and separation anxiety, which is when baby feels unsettled by your absence—can set in soon after, around 9 months of age (although some kids don't show signs of separation anxiety until later, around 18 months).
Prevent, Distract, Redirect: Months 4-9
Parents can set limits for babies by preventing them from grabbing the wrong things (babyproofing an area), distracting them (using a silly voice), and redirecting (engaging them with a toy).
Your baby probably isn't feeling anger in the way adults do. She's just letting you know she's not happy about something in the only way she knows how. During your baby's first few months she may cry or grizzle when: she needs to be fed.
And when it came to emotional or behavioral problems, or attachment, all three groups were the same. This means that it's okay to let your baby cry a little. It's not only okay, it may lead to more sleep all around.
The best way to handle crying is to respond promptly during her first few months. You cannot spoil a young baby with attention, and if you answer her calls for help, she'll cry less overall. When responding to your child's cries, try to meet her most pressing need first.
Period of PURPLE Crying is a research-based education program developed by the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome. Program materials include a booklet with app or DVD (available in mulitple languages), a 10-minute video on crying and a 17-minute video on soothing.