New Babies: When To See A Doctor About Crying

It's tough to deal with colic, but when is it necessary to see a doctor?

It hurts to hear your baby cry. Scientists have found that the sound of a crying infant, particularly when it's one's own child, actually evokes a physical response in adults. Your pulse speeds up, your blood pressure increases, and you breathe faster. It's your mission in life to help this little person feel better, and most parents want to do anything in their power to help the baby stop crying.

So, when you end up as the one out of three parents who has to deal with colic (excessive crying of three hours a day or more), it's tough. Most of the time, there's nothing medically wrong with a crying baby. It can take new parents a while to learn their babies' cues and the best calming strategies, but if you've really tried everything and your baby is still crying for hours a day, it's a good idea to schedule a checkup with your doctor to rule out a few possible medical issues. Here are some symptoms to watch out for which may indicate a problem in a baby with excessive crying:

Excessive spitting or vomiting

Pretty much all babies spit up, but if your baby is forcefully vomiting or spitting up after every meal or between meals, this may be abnormal.

Poor feeding

If your baby isn't eating enough or is being reluctant to feed, it's important to schedule a doctor's appointment. If you see any symptoms of dehydration, such as sunken fontanelles and lethargy, see a doctor immediately.


If your baby is crying excessively and has a fever, it's best to check with your doctor to see if something could be wrong. Call your practitioner for further guidelines.

Blood in the baby's stool

If you see blood in your baby's diaper, call your doctor.

Any abnormal behavior

Even as a new parent, you know your baby better than anyone. If you are ever in any doubt over whether something is normal, or if something about your baby's behavior changes in conjunction with excessive crying that lasts for a long period of time, you're probably better off seeing a doctor just so that you know for sure that there's nothing wrong with your baby.

If you do take your baby to the doctor, expect them to check your baby for illnesses such as ear infections or viral illnesses. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics for bacterial infections or instruct you to give Tylenol to reduce your baby's fever. If your baby has symptoms of reflux, your doctor may prescribe medication for your baby before meals or instruct you to give your baby some rice cereal to help keep the food in her stomach. For symptoms of food allergies, your doctor may instruct you to adjust your diet if you're breastfeeding or switch formulas if you are bottle feeding.

Whatever happens, remember that in nearly all cases, babies cry a lot less as they get older. Most colic cases are completely gone by the third or fourth month, so if you just hang in there for those difficult first few months, things will be a lot better later.

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