10 minute consultation: Persistent crying in babies
- By: A R Gatrad, Aziz Sheikh
A young mother presents with her 12 week old son, complaining that he “cries all the time.” She also has a three year old daughter who was “never a problem.”
Elicit the mother's views--What does she think the problem might be? Take seriously any specific concerns she has. How experienced is she? For example, does she appreciate that the duration and frequency of crying can vary considerably between infants and at different times in the same infant? How is she coping? Is she depressed? Ask about what sources of support she has at home or among her wider circle of friends and relatives and whether she needs any additional help.
Nature of the crying--Excessive crying is defined medically as crying that lasts at least three hours a day, for three days a week, for at least three weeks. Is there any pattern to the crying? Babies cry for a variety