6 things your baby's cry might mean

Communication   |   Age: 3 months 1 week

6 things your baby's cries might mean

You’ve tried all of the obvious things - your baby isn’t hungry, her diaper is dry and clean, and she doesn’t seem to be gassy or need burping, but she just won’t stop crying. your baby cries to try to communicate, though, so after those more obvious potential problems get ruled out, it’s time to start thinking at the next level.

It’s a big, bad world out there

your baby has been out in the world a few months now, but she is still closer to brand-new than she ever will be again, and sometimes just being out and about is enough to feel like too much to her. your baby might be feeling overstimulated and like too much is going on, which you can help with by moving to somewhere quiet and holding her gently. She could also be missing the constant rocking motion of being carried around inside your body, or the white noise of the womb all around her, or the constant sense of another heartbeat nearby. Things like white-noise machines, an ultra-supervised visit to a buzzing washer or dryer, a trip in the car, or just a walk around the block in your arms, held against your chest could all help your baby get that feeling back.

Hot and cold

your baby is young enough not to have fully mastered the fine art of regulating her own temperature, which means that she is at your mercy for help adding or removing layers if she finds herself getting a little too warm or a bit chilly. It’s normal to try to keep your baby bundled to whatever degree keeps you comfortable in the same environment, but your baby is a different person with a different personal physiology, which could run hotter or colder than yours. It could take some trial and error to figure out how your baby is feeling, but you’ll get there before long. Just remember that basing your idea of her temperature on the way her hands and feet feel won’t be totally accurate, as extremities tend to run a little colder. your baby’s belly temperature is a much better indication of how she might be feeling.

your baby loves you

And because she loves you so much, sometimes when she is away from you, she cries to be near you. your baby’s first few months of existence were spent in constant physical contact, and since she has been out in the world, you and your partner have been her favorite people. Sometimes when your baby cries, she just wants to know that you’re close. Wearing her around the house in a sling sometimes can stop this problem before it even starts.


It could be that your baby is just bored - and unlike you, she doesn't have the option of flipping open a book, putting a movie on Netflix, or even making herself focus on getting a slightly annoying chore done while she has some free time - she depends on you for entertainment. Luckily, she also isn't too demanding of an audience. A brightly colored toy to look at, or even just a walk around the living room with you could clear that boredom right up!


Even before your baby starts to actually teethe, she is preparing for those incoming teeth beneath the surface of her gums, which can lead to some discomfort.

Growing pains - literally

You know that your baby is growing every day - you’re watching it happen before your eyes. What you might not know, because you weren’t exactly building lasting memories yet when you were little enough to be experiencing the same thing, is that growing bones at that kind of speed hurts. This kind of pain isn’t necessarily something you can do anything about, but just being with you and being soothed by you, even if you can’t make it stop, reassures your baby that you’re there, and she is safe. These cries aren’t any fun for you, but just remember, it’s even harder for your baby.

Potential health problems

If your baby is consistently crying and also has a fever, or is having digestive issues like vomiting, constipation or diarrhea, call the doctor to make sure nothing more serious is wrong. High-pitched cries or screams are often signs of pain, so take a look around for bug bites, a hair tourniquet, fever, or rumbling tummy. If you start to notice a consistent pattern in your baby’s crying, but can’t find a cause, like if your baby cries after eating, that could also be a sign that something isn’t quite right, and that it’s time to check in with your baby’s doctor.

More articles at this age

9 things every baby loves

All babies are different, and even when they're this young, their quirks and preferences are already starting to make themselves known. There are a few things, though, that pretty much every baby loves, whether they're outgoing, shy, quiet, chatty, adventurous, or more of a thinker.

Sleep from 4 to 6 months

In the second quarter of her first year, your baby is learning a lot about how to get the sleep she needs, but she still probably needs a little bit of help from you, too.

How to ask your friends and family for help

Your friends and family won't provide the same kind of treatment a healthcare provider will, but they can play a critical role in supporting your mental health.

How to prevent baby bottle mouth

Of all the things that can threaten your baby's well-being, it's the little things, like her bottle, that can be the most unexpected.

What is a comfort object?

A warm cup of coffee in your hand, a book in your lap, or a favorite blanket you can roll up in at the end of the day - even adults have comfort objects! If you still can't figure out why your baby won't let go of her teddy, then trust us: there are more complicated factors at play.

Navigating expectations about parenting roles as LGBTQ parents

To a certain degree, this is something every family deals with - "What sort of ideas about family that I grew up with will I keep as I build this new family? What will I do differently?"

Welcome to lil'bee!

It looks like you're using an ad blocker. That's okay. Who doesn't? But without advertising-income, we can't keep making this site awesome. Please disable your ad blocker and refresh this page.

Thanks for understanding 🙏