Crying patterns in preterm infants

Dev Med Child Neurol. 1996 Apr;38(4):345-55. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.1996.tb12100.x.


Healthy infants born at term cry most in the first three months of life, with a peak and increased crying in the evening during the second month. To determine whether the crying of preterm infants manifests similar features, the pattern of crying from 40 weeks gestational age through 24 weeks corrected age was described for 35 relatively healthy preterm infants born between 28 and 34 weeks gestational age. Despite their additional extra-uterine experience, they still cried significantly more after 40 weeks gestational age, with a peak and evening clustering at 6 weeks corrected age. The age of peak crying was not related to gestational age at birth, weight for gestational age, or a variety of perinatal and neurological indices. The results support the argument that the early-peak pattern is a robust maturational feature of early development and may be universal to human infancy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Crying / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Behavior / physiology*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / physiology*
  • Male