The length of a child’s cry

The cry of a baby is one of the sharpest and the loudest sounds that we could possibly hear in a household (about 80 to 85 decibels)


It starts to appear around the second week of a child’s life, it grows in strength around the eighth to tenth week and then it lowers down towards the end of the third or the beginning of the forth month due to the baby’s brain development and a better mutual communication.

From several observations it is evident that a newborn around its first to second month of age commonly cries one to three hours a day. The length of the cry is individual for each child. About a quarter of children cry a lot and a half of them cries very often. The usual duration of a cry also varies a lot depending on the mother. On one end of the extreme, a mother might think: “I think that if the child was really happy, it wouldn’t cry at all.” And on the other extreme: “He can cry for as long as he wants. I don’t think that he is unhappy because in between of two turbulent cries, he can be cheerful and brisk.  Most probably, he is just exercising his lungs.”

The youngest children cry at various times during the day depending on their individuality. Some can cry five to six half hours before feeding or before sleeping while others cry only towards the end of the day.

Some children like to cry especially in the night. These ‘little owls’ love to exchange the night for the day. To its age of one to two months, a newborn cries during the night, because it is hungry. It is highly  inconvenient, but it is the case. It is not up to the parents, but up to the child when he stops requiring   feeding at 2am in the morning. Later on, the night waking up can be due to a discomfort (too hot, a thirst, a blocked nose and so on..) or due to a sudden pain. Both causes should be of your attention and you should take a look at the child. But take note – do not confuse such a cry with a cry out of sleep from which we should not wake the child up.  Also, do not confuse this with a cry of an older child who got so used to parents’ comforting in the middle of the night.


Afternoon cry

An afternoon cry is infamously well-known too. The day is coming to an end, the mum is tired and she would like to take some rest, daddy is coming home from work and this is exactly the moment which the baby, so cute just a while ago, choses to start crying endlessly. However, at the same time the baby’s immediate condition does not provide any explanation for this. We are playing with him, we talk to him, we offer him his bottle, we get him changed and praise him, but we can’t seem to quiet him down. The baby first starts to whimper, then it breaks into a cry and none of our attempts to quiet him down seem to work. “The early evening hour when the lions go to drink” is not such a vulnerable time just for the babies. The old and the sick are vulnerable to this time period as well and they need to overcome this depressive moment. Is this about some metaphysical syndrome?  Or about a need to discharge an extra energy? Or about a reaction to the surroundings or the mother’s tiredness? No doubt all of this takes its part.


All “normal” babies cry. Some of them objectively cry much more than the others even though some parents can bear with the cry better than others and so they complain less. We can try to avoid an excessive cry by understanding it better and by learning how to respond to it. However, it is impossible to prevent all the cry, because, as needs to be emphasized again, it is a sign of the baby’s good physical and especially psychological well-being.

Don’t forget that babies who cry a lot are generally more active and brisk. They develop well and at a faster rate physically as well as communicatively. Statistically, there is a smaller proportional of sudden death cases in these babies. These babies demand so much attention and we pay so much attention to them that they never fail to be a subject of cuddling and communication.

Once this crying phase is over, you will observe a fabulous and confident child who develops intellectually at a fast rate. Babies who cry often need more love, attention and patients. And just wait to see the result!



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