1. Problem crying in infancy

Med J Aust. 2004 Nov 1;181(9):507-12. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2004.tb06414.x.


Up to 20% of parents report a problem with infant crying or irritability in the first 3 months of life. Crying usually peaks at 6 weeks and abates by 12-16 weeks. For most irritable infants, there is no underlying medical cause. In a minority, the cause is cow's milk and other food allergy. Only if frequent vomiting (about five times a day) occurs is gastro-oesophageal reflux a likely cause. It is important to assess the mother-infant relationship and maternal fatigue, anxiety and depression. Management of excessive crying includes: explaining babies' normal crying and sleeping patterns; helping parents help their baby deal with discomfort and distress through a baby-centred approach; helping parents recognise when their baby is tired and apply a consistent approach to settling their baby; encouraging parents to accept help from friends and family, and to simplify household tasks. If they are unable to manage their baby's crying, admission to a parenting centre (day stay or overnight stay) or local hospital should be arranged.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Causality
  • Crying* / physiology
  • Crying* / psychology
  • Decision Trees
  • Flatulence / diagnosis
  • Flatulence / therapy
  • Food Hypersensitivity / diagnosis
  • Food Hypersensitivity / therapy
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / diagnosis
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Information Services
  • Irritable Mood / physiology
  • Lactose Intolerance / diagnosis
  • Lactose Intolerance / therapy
  • Male
  • Medical History Taking / methods
  • Models, Psychological
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Parenting / psychology
  • Parents / education
  • Parents / psychology
  • Pediatrics / methods*
  • Physical Examination / methods
  • Primary Health Care / methods*
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Social Support