Crying Child - 3 Months and Older

Disponible En Espanol


  • A child more than 3 months old is crying or very fussy
  • You don’t know why
  • Your child is too young to tell you why
  • Crying is the only symptom
  • For crying with an illness or other symptom, go to that care guide


  • Main cause. Coming down with an illness. Young children cry about being sick, even if they don't have any pain.
  • Physical pain. Painful causes include earache, sore throat, mouth ulcers, or a raw diaper rash. An ulcer on tip of penis or constipation may also cause pain or crying.
  • Behavioral causes. Overtired, stressed, whining, tantrums, separation anxiety. This guide detects many babies with sleep problems. Crying always occurs during re-training programs for bad sleep habits. Some preverbal children (before 2 years) cry for everything.
  • Teething. Teething generally doesn't cause crying.
  • Gas. Gas in the intestines does not cause crying.
  • Hunger. Not caused by hunger, since by this age parents can recognize hunger.
  • Decongestants (such as Sudafed). These drugs can also can cause jitteriness and crying. (Note: FDA does not advise cough and cold medicines for children under 4 years.)


The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.

  • Not a Substitute - The information and materials in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker should not be used as a substitute for the care and knowledge that your physician can provide to you.
  • Supplement - The information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker are meant to supplement the information that you obtain from your physician. If there is a disagreement between the information presented herein and what your physician has told you -- it is more likely that your physician is correct. He or she has the benefit of knowing your child's medical problems.
  • Limitations - You should recognize that the information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker have the following limitations, in comparison to being examined by your own physician:
    • You can have a conversation with your child's doctor.
    • Your child's doctor can perform a physical examination and any necessary tests.
    • Your child could have an underlying medical problem that requires a physician to detect.
    • If your child is taking medications, they could influence how he experiences various symptoms.

If you think that your child is having a medical emergency, call 911 or the number for the local emergency ambulance service NOW!

And when in doubt, call your child's doctor NOW or go to the closest emergency department.

The search for nearby emergency and urgent care facilities is based upon Google search parameters. You will get results based on how facilities manage their website information.

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