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Coping When Your Baby Cries a Lot

man holding crying baby on his chest



All babies cry - some more than others - and while it may be stressful, remember it’s natural.

Crying doesn't mean there's something wrong with your baby, or with you as a parent.

A baby who's healthy but cries often may be going through a normal developmental stage called the Period of PURPLE Crying®. This stage usually starts at about two weeks, gets worse through the second month of life, and stops at about four or five months of age. 

It's normal for babies to cry more frequently during these early months, sometimes even for hours a day. For more information visit the Period of PURPLE Crying® website. 

Why do babies cry?

  • Babies usually cry because they're hungry, uncomfortable, sick, hurt or wanting to be held.
  • Crying doesn't mean your baby is bad or mad at you. 
  • Crying is a normal developmental stage and usually stops at about four to five months of age.
  • Sometimes it seems like there is nothing you can do to help your baby stop crying. 
  • The most important thing you can do during the crying stage is stay calm and take a break when you need it.
  • Never shake or hit your baby.

Watch a video on how to help your baby manage pain.

Shaken Baby Syndrome

Shaken Baby Syndrome (or neurotrauma) refers to injuries that can occur when a baby is shaken. Shaking can cause brain damage, blindness, paralysis, seizures, and death. Shaken Baby Syndrome often happens when a parent or caregiver loses control because a baby will not stop crying.

To prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome:

  • Learn how to calmly cope with your baby's crying
  • Tell others who care for your baby that crying is normal. Ask them to call you if they get frustrated, so you can safely remove your baby from their care.
  • Learn how to control your anger - never pick up a baby when you are angry. If you are very angry, put your baby in a safe place, such as the crib, and walk away until you are under control again.
  • If you feel unable to cope or are afraid that you may hurt your baby, make sure she or he is safe. Then call someone for help. Never leave your baby in the care of someone who has problems controlling their anger.

Call for help

Call a family member, a friend, HealthLink BC at 8-1-1, your public health office, or your healthcare provider if you need someone to talk to.

Resources & Links:

Crying, Age 3 and Under
Shaken Baby Syndrome

Last Updated: August 5, 2013