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The Top Reasons Why Babies Cry

By Meredith Carroll |


Torture from siblings should be on the list, but strangely, it isn't

If your heart doesn’t break upon hearing a baby cry, you might consider getting it checked out to ensure you actually have one.

The saddest sound in the world can be that of your baby crying, particularly if you can’t figure out how to make it stop. Babies give different cries for different reasons, and if you know why they’re crying, it can help make them stop (and hopefully make them smile).

Here’s a list of the top reasons why babies cry (via Knowledge is power, and hopefully this list will help give you the power to bring your baby some peace:

1. Hunger
Little babies generally give off cues that they’re hungry. Once you learn to recognize them (e.g. fussing, lip smacking, and rooting), hopefully you can fill their bellies before the tears start flowing.

2. Dirty Diaper
Wouldn’t you cry, too, if you had a load in your pants?

3. Sleepy
Sometimes when babies are too tired or are in situations not conducive to sleep, they’ll cry.

4. In the Mood for Love
Babies love a good cuddle. Sometimes their cries might just mean they want to be held close so they can feel your heartbeat, hear your gentle voice, see your sweet face and get a whiff of your unique smell.

5. Stomach Issues
Gas or colic can cause a baby to cry — a lot. ( defines colic as “inconsolable crying for at least three hours a day, at least three days a week, at least three weeks in a row.”) Some remedies include non-prescription anti-gas drops or gripe water. Either way, check with your doctor if you suspect colic or excessive gas in your baby.

For more of the top reasons why babies cry, head on over to

Image: Meredith Carroll

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About Meredith Carroll


Meredith Carroll

Meredith C. Carroll is an award-winning columnist and writer based in Aspen, Colorado. She can be found regularly on the Op-Ed page of The Denver Post. From 2005-2012 her other column, "Meredith Pro Tem" ran in several newspapers, as well as occasionally on The Huffington Post since 2009. Read more about her (or don’t, whatever) at her website. Read bio and latest posts → Read Meredith's latest posts →

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3 thoughts on “The Top Reasons Why Babies Cry

  1. Bre says:

    For the first 3 months my husband was convinced that every time our son cried it was because he had a dirty diaper, like wouldn’t let me feed him until he checked…95% of the time there was nothing in the diaper…silly daddy

  2. BeachMomofTwo says:

    My daughter cried and cried and cried–yep, she was colicky. Colic Calm gripe water ( did the trick for her. That, and her swing–she practically lived in that swing. Though it seemed like we’d never get out of that stage, it’s, thankfully, a distant memory now.

  3. snakecharmer says:

    Overstimulation will cause them to cry as well.

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