Infant crying patterns in the first year: normal community and clinical findings

J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1991 Sep;32(6):951-68. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.1991.tb01922.x.


To provide information about persistent infant crying, crying durations and patterns were measured at four age points (1-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12 months) in normal community (N = 400) and clinical (N = 68) samples. The findings provide a range of prevalence figures and descriptive statistics which may be useful for parents and professionals faced with infant crying. A large developmental shift in crying amount, and two age-related changes of crying pattern, were found. Clinical infants showed the same crying profiles as the general community infants, but were found to cry substantially more. Although mothers of first-borns were more likely to seek clinical referral, there were no birth-order differences in crying amount or pattern. The findings' implications for studies of infant temperament and development are indicated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Birth Order
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Crying / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Personality Development*
  • Psychology, Child
  • Reference Values
  • Referral and Consultation