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Understand why babies cry before 3 months of age

By Dr. Paramjeet Singh Kumar in Paediatric (Ped)

Mar 17 , 2022 | 2 min read

Frequently Asked Questions by Parents:


Qus 1. How much is normal crying in babies < 3 months?

Ans: All normal babies cry for 1 to 3 hours of each day, which is scattered throughout the day.


Qus 2. What is excessive crying in babies < 3 months?

Ans: Crying episodes for more than 3 to 4 hours per day is considered abnormal.


Qus 3. Which Foods needs to be limited in a mother in a child with excessive crying?

Ans: These are Following Foods:

a) Fish high in mercury
b) Some herbal supplements
c) Alcohol
d) Caffeine in coffee & beverages
e) Highly Processed food

Qus 4. What are the signs & symptoms of colic pain?

Ans: These are Following signs & symptoms of colic pain:

a) Inconsolable crying/screaming
b) baby extending or pulling up the legs to his tummy
c) Passing excessive gas
d) Distended/bloated stomach
e) Arched back &/or clenched fists
f) Reddened face after a long episode of crying
g) Frequent Burping

Qus 5. What should mother eat when baby has colic?

Ans: Adequate consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low fat dairy products should be encouraged along with daily water consumption of 2 to 3 Litres per day to take care of the newborn baby in the initial days.


Qus 6. What helps colic naturally?

Ans: These are Following Things:

a) Walk, rock or take your baby for a car ride or cuddle the baby
b) Rub baby's tummy or give your baby an infant massage
c) Place your baby on their belly across mother's lap and pat the back of the baby
d) Swaddle your baby in a soft blanket
e) Put soft music in the background
f) Sing and talk softly to your baby
g) Give a Luke warm water bath to the baby

Qus 7. How to tackle an excessively crying baby less than 3 months?

Ans: Mother/caregiver is supposed to rule out the following causes step wise

  • Step 1 (Hunger Cry):

    Assume every crying baby to be hungry unless proved otherwise & therefore start breastfeeding the baby

  • Step 2 (Sleep Cry):

    If the baby doesn't feed or doesn't stop crying after limited feeding, then just rock the baby with soft motherly emotional talks. This will allow the baby to sleep comfortably.

  • Step 3 (Diaper Cry):

    Check the diaper if the baby continues to cry even after step 2 trial. Baby's stool is irritating to the skin & can cause burning & pain sensation.

  • Step 4 (Temperature Cry):

    Ideal environmental temperature for the baby to be comfortable is 24°C. If the environmental temperature is high as in summers, the baby will be unable to bear the heat which will allow him to sweat & cry inconsolably. Sometimes fever in children can also be documented in such situations and the mother is supposed to take a note of it.

  • Step 5 (Colic Cry):

    If the above steps have already been looked into, assume the baby to be colicky. Gripe water may be useful in such condition besides soft ways of tackling the colic as discussed earlier.


Qus 8) When to seek medical care in an excessively crying baby

Ans: These are Following Things:

a) A baby with age less than 1 month old & looks or acts abnormal in any way
b) Rectal temperature > 100.3° F in babies less than 3 month of age
c) Swollen scrotum or groin
d) Repeated & persistent vomiting i.e projectile voluminous throwing out of milk from the mouth
e) Excessive unduly crying after an injury
f) Refusal to accept feeds for more than 8 hours
g) Baby becoming blue in colour during the crying episodes, especially the lips