Crying infant


  • Mean duration of crying is approximately 2 hrs/day for the first 6 wks[1]
  • This decreases to 72 mins/day by age 10-12 wks
  • As many as 43% of infants experience excessive crying[2]
  • 5% of crying infants are found to have underlying disease[3]

Clinical Features

Baby yelling.jpg
  • Crying and inconsolable infant

Differential Diagnosis

Crying Infant


Algorithm for the evaluation of the crying infant




  • If no underlying cause is found attempt the "5 Ss"
    • Swaddling
    • Side/Stomach position while awake
    • Shhhhing to provide soothing sound
    • Swinging the baby in parent's arms
    • Sucking on breast or pacifier
  • 4% benefit from change to soy formula
  • rocking, warm compresses to belly feeding, frequent burping, diaper changes


  • May discharge home with precautions if infant becomes consolable and has reassuring exam (and studies, if indicated)
  • Admit if infant is persistently inconsolable, will not tolerate POs, or has concern for specific pathology

See Also

External Links


  1. Wolke D, et al. Meta-analysis of fuss/cry durations and colic prevalence across countries. In: Proceedings of the 11th International Infant Cry Research Workshop. 8-10 June 2011. Zeist, The Netherlands.
  2. Reijneveld SA, et al. Excessive infant crying: the impact of varying definitions. Pediatrics. 2001; 108(4):893-897.
  3. Barr, RG. Colic and crying syndromes in infants. Pediatrics. 1998; 102(5):1282-1286.