Why is baby crying ? Deciphering an infant's tears

Did you know? Crying is above all a way for your baby to express themselves! When they cry, they are trying to tell you something... but what? To understand why baby is crying, listen and trust yourself.

Crying as a way to express emotion

When your baby cries, it’s simply because they have something to tell you. Crying is the way they express their emotions, which can be nerve-racking for you. Don’t worry, you’ll quickly learn to understand and find the solutions to comfort them. And, while you learn why your baby is crying, hold them in your arms, don’t leave them to cry on their own: it’s your warmth they need more than anything1.

Digestive causes of crying

A baby often cries because there is a problem with their digestive system. Regurgitations, colic, etc. are not pleasant and so they cry! The most common cause is that dreadful infant colic. To soothe them, patience, calm and love are the first ingredients. Cradling them, holding them against your body or laying them on their stomach across your forearm2.

You sing a lullaby or talk to them soothingly, are great ways to reassure them.

Baby is crying because…

They may be hungry, in which case you can try to feed them. But maybe their cries are caused by their nappy? It’s always worth checking and changing them if their nappy is full.

On average, babies cry for around 2 hours a day1, and some babies cry at the end of the day, when evening begins to fall. This is known as “evening crying”, which starts at around 3 weeks and peaks at around 6 weeks. These cries, which always happen at around the same time, are no cause for concern, they are just your baby’s way of externalising what they are feeling.1

What about you in the midst of all this crying? (1)

It can be nerve-racking to see your baby continue to cry even when they have eaten, have a clean nappy and are not poorly. And it’s also tiring for you... this is normal. It’s important for you to be able to rest and take a breather when the crying becomes unbearable. Don’t blame yourself: all parents go through it. You can tell your baby that it’s difficult for you, that you need to clear your mind, that you love them but that you are tired. Your friends and family are there to take over from you. It doesn’t matter if you don’t always know why baby is crying, just accept it and tell them “I don’t know why you are crying”. You are just starting out on the journey of motherhood so don’t worry: you’ll get there, both of you. Soon, all these tears will be nothing but a distant memory.

1Coliques et pleurs du nourrisson, comment réagir, by Dr Bosquet, Dr Salinier and Dr Werner,12/07/2018 mpedia,

2 Pleurs de mon enfant, les comprendre et les calmer, by Dr Bocquet, Dr Challamel and Dr Dodanne, mpedia 27/09/2018,


Breast milk is the ideal food for infants. WHO recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months and then continuation thereof until the age of 2 alongside the introduction, from 6 months, of safe and appropriate complementary foods. Please consult a healthcare professional if you need any advice about feeding your baby.