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What does it mean when babies cry?

Understanding Your Baby's Crying

Scott Cohen (Pediatrician, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center) gives expert video advice on: What does it mean when babies cry?; How do I know when my baby's crying indicates a serious problem? and more...

What does it mean when babies cry?

Crying is your baby's way of telling you they need something and it often breaks down to one of a couple things, either they are hungry, either they just want some comfort, either they want their diaper changed, or something's bothering them, something hurts them that you need to fix. And what's really interesting is you are going to get different types of cry and you are going to have different inclinations for their cry for different things that they want. And you sort of get to know when is the hunger cry and when is the diaper change cry, when is the painful cry, when is i just want some loving cry, and you get to know that and you will be able to immediately fix the problem at hand.

How much do babies normally cry every day?

The amount babies cry really varies, and every child is different. It's really funny because the families who have babies who never cry call me and say, "My baby never cries; there must be something wrong." And the families who have babies who cry a lot call me and say, "My baby doesn't stop crying; there must be something wrong." So, it's really funny, and there is a wide variability. The key is trying to figure out what the cry is for and doing what you find works best to stop the crying. Of course, if the crying is uncontrollable, and you can't stop it, talk to your pediatrician to make sure there is nothing medically wrong. In most cases there's nothing medically wrong, it's just figuring out how to pay attention to the problem.