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Support and Advice from TNPC's Parenting Experts





Babies cry when they’re unhappy or uncomfortable. Crying is a distress signal. Babies don’t cry to exercise their lungs. A few of them cry because they’re in pain from an ear infection or a bad diaper rash, and most babies obviously cry when their hungry, but they stop as soon as you offer them a feeding. Occasionally babies cry because their diaper is too tight, they’re too hot or too cold, or very thirsty.

Some 10% of babies have daily unexplained fussy crying that we refer to as colic. While no one is certain what causes colic, these babies seem to want to be cuddled or to go to sleep. Colic tends to occur in “high needs” babies with sensitive temperament. It begins in the first weeks of life, spontaneously begins to improve by two months of age, and is gone by three. In the long run, these colicky babies grow up to be sensitive and alert children.

On the other hand, be sure to call your child’s doctor if your baby has a high pitched cry, cries constantly and can’t be consoled, has crying that began after one month of age or persists after three months of age. These are signs that she doesn’t have colic and it’s time to get the right diagnosis.

During Dr. Schmitt’s 20 years as a medical practitioner and researcher, he has published over 100 articles or chapters on pediatric health care, and has been awarded the distinguished C. Anderson Aldrich Award by the American Academy of Pediatrics for outstanding contributions to the field of child development. Schmitt has also authored five books including Your Child’s Health, which won Child Magazine’s first Hall of Fame Award in 1991. Schmitt is also a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and on staff at The Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado.

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Medical, Support and Advice, Treatment