Parent Resources


Crying Child – 3 Months and Older

Causes of Unexplained Crying

  • New Illness. Coming down with an illness is the main physical cause. Young children cry about being sick, even if they don’t have any pain.
  • Physical Pain. Painful causes include earache, sore throat, mouth ulcers, or a raw diaper rash. A sore on the penis or constipation may also cause pain or crying.
  • Behavioral Causes. Most crying means the child is upset about something. Crying can occur when a young child is separated from his parents. Other examples are crying with tantrums or when overtired. This guide detects many babies with sleep problems. Crying always occurs during re-training programs for bad sleep habits. Some preverbal children cry any time they want something.
  • Hunger. After the early months, most parents can recognize hunger and feed their child. If they don’t, the child may cry.
  • Cold Medicines. Drugs like Sudafed can also cause crying. Note: FDA does not advise cough and cold medicines for children under 6 years.

Myths About Causes of Crying

  • Not Due to Teething. Teething may cause some babies to be fussy. But, in general, it does not cause crying.
  • Not Due to Gas. Gas passing through normal intestines does not cause pain or crying.

Is this your child’s symptom?

  • A child more than 3 months old is crying and you don’t know why
  • Your child is too young to tell you why
  • Age: Most of these children are younger than 2 years old
  • Crying is the only symptom
  • For crying with an illness or other symptom, go to that care guide

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