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Crying Baby - Before 3 Months Old

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Definition:

  • A baby less than 3 months old has a sudden onset of crying
  • You don’t know why he or she is crying
  • Crying is the only symptom
  • The type of frequent crying called colic is included
  • For crying with an illness or other symptom, go to that care guide

Causes

  • Common causes of new-onset crying. Hunger, sleepy, pain, too cold, too hot, clothing too tight.
  • Main cause of recurrent crying. Normal fussy crying. When this occurs over 3 hours per day, it’s called colic.
  • Caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that can cause increased crying and trouble falling asleep. Breastfeeding mothers need to limit their caffeine intake.
  • Gas does not cause crying. All crying babies pass lots of gas. Their stomachs also make lots of gassy noises. The gas comes from swallowed air. The gas is normal. It does not become trapped nor cause any pains.
  • Feeding too much. Some babies cry because of a bloated stomach from overfeeding. Unlike gas, too much milk can cause discomfort that lasts a short time.

Definition of Colic

  • A lot of crying once or twice per day
  • Usually consolable when held and comforted
  • Acts normal (happy, contented) between bouts of crying
  • The baby is getting enough to eat and is not hungry
  • The baby is not sick
  • Onset most often before 2 weeks of age
  • Usually goes away by 3 months of age (sometimes up to 4 months)

Disclaimer

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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