Main AHCA Website

AHCA’s main website for information on Medicaid, Health Quality Assurance and the Florida Center for Health Information and Policy Analysis.

Go >

Florida Health Information Network

This website provides information and resources relating to AHCA’s initiatives for Health Information Technology and Health Information Exchange.

Go >


FloridaHealthFinder.gov

Provides health education and information to compare and locate health care providers in Florida to make well-informed health care decisions.

Go >
AHCA Network of Websites

Health Education


Health Encyclopedia

Search the Health Encyclopedia

Crying - excessive (0 to 6 months)

Alternative Names

Excessive crying (infants 0 to 6 months)

Considerations

Infants normally cry about 1 to 3 hours a day. It is perfectly normal for an infant to cry when hungry, thirsty, tired, lonely, or in pain. It is also normal for a baby to have a fussy period in the evening.

But, if an infant cries too often, it may be a sign of something that needs treatment.

Causes

Infants may cry because of any of the following:

  • Boredom or loneliness
  • Colic
  • Discomfort or irritation from a wet or dirty diaper, excessive gas, or feeling cold
  • Hunger or thirst
  • Illness
  • Infection (a likely cause if the crying is accompanied by irritability, lethargy, poor appetite, or fever. You should call your baby's health care provider)
  • Medicines
  • Normal muscle jerks and twitches that disturb the sleep
  • Pain
  • Teething

Home Care

Home care depends on the causes. Follow your provider's advice.

If the infant seems constantly hungry despite short, frequent feedings, talk to your provider about normal growth and feeding times.

If crying is due to boredom or loneliness, it may be helpful to touch, hold, and talk to the infant more and place the infant within sight. Place baby-safe toys where the child can see them. If crying is due to sleep disturbance, wrap the baby firmly in a blanket before putting the infant to bed.

For excessive crying in infants due to cold, dress the infant warmly or adjust the temperature of the room. If adults are cold, the baby is likely cold also.

Always check for possible causes of pain or discomfort in a crying baby. When cloth diapers are used, look for diaper pins that have become loose or loose threads that have become tightly wrapped around fingers or toes. Diaper rashes also can be uncomfortable.

Take your baby's temperature to check for fever. Check your baby head-to-toe for any injuries. Pay particular attention to the fingers, toes, and genitalia. It is not uncommon for a hair to get wrapped around part of your baby, such as a toe, creating pain.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call the provider if:

  • A baby's excessive crying remains unexplained and does not go away in 1 day, despite attempts at home treatment
  • The baby has other symptoms, such as fever, along with the excessive crying

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

The provider will examine your baby and ask about the child's medical history and symptoms. Questions may include:

  • Is the child teething?
  • Is the child bored, lonely, hungry, thirsty?
  • Does the child seem to have a lot of gas?
  • What other symptoms does the child have? Such as, difficulty waking up, fever, irritability, poor appetite, or vomiting?

The provider will check the infant's growth and development. Antibiotics may be prescribed if the baby has a bacterial infection.

References

American Academy of Pediatrics. Crying and your baby: how to calm a fussy or colicky baby. Updated 2008. Available at: shop.aap.org/Crying-and-Your-Baby-How-to-Calm-a-Fussy-or-Colicky-Baby-Brochure. Accessed November 20, 2014.

Review Date:11/20/2014
Reviewed By:Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

adam.com

The Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) and this website do not claim the information on, or referred to by, this site is error free. This site may include links to websites of other government agencies or private groups. Our Agency and this website do not control such sites and are not responsible for their content. Reference to or links to any other group, product, service, or information does not mean our Agency or this website approves of that group, product, service, or information.

Additionally, while health information provided through this website may be a valuable resource for the public, it is not designed to offer medical advice. Talk with your doctor about medical care questions you may have.

Health
Outcome Data

No data available for this condition/procedure.

Health Encyclopedia

More Features

We Appreciate Your Feedback
1. Did you find this information useful?
         Yes
         No

2. Would you recommend this website to family and friends?
         Yes
         No