Crying baby

Screaming baby in green top

Excessive crying in babies is common and distressing. There is usually no obvious reason and gets better after babies are three to four months old. This is often referred to as ‘colic’.

All babies cry, but excessive or inconsolable crying can be distressing and difficult to manage for caregivers.

The crying usually starts when babies are a few days or weeks old. It tends to peak around six to eight weeks of age.

Babies may look like they are in pain but this kind of crying isn’t caused by pain. Settling or comforting a baby can be difficult or even impossible.

Excessive crying resolves without treatment but can create a lot of stress for the family.

One in five families experience excessive crying with their baby, and it is associated with problems such as parental depression, family dysfunction, child abuse and early breast weaning. 

You can find more information on Colic on the Raising Children website.

Screaming baby in green top

Who does it affect?

Who does it affect?

  • Excessive crying is one of the most common conditions experienced by babies under four months of age.
  • It is also one of the most common reasons for primary health care visits in a baby’s first months of life.
  • One in five babies in Australia experience excessive crying.
  • Most crying babies have no obvious physical or medical reason for their fussing, long periods of grizzling, being unsettled and excessive crying which is often very loud, especially in the evening.

Our vision

Our vision

We aim to help and alleviate the stress parents and caregivers experience when their baby has excessive or inconsolable crying. We are doing this through research which reveals potential treatments and reassures parents and caregivers that excessive crying does not cause long-term harm.