Why is my baby so unhappy?
Most babies are healthy and cry only when they are hungry or for other specific reasons. Some babies may have trouble breastfeeding and be unhappy because they are not getting enough milk. A small number may be in pain or distress because of illness. There are number of popular and somewhat controversial diagnoses, such as colic, teething, and lactose intolerance, that are assigned to babies.
When a baby is upset, it can be very stressful for parents. Fortunately, most babies are healthy and cry only when they are hungry or for other specific reasons.
Please consult your health-care providers if you are concerned that your baby is not behaving normally.
Mothers may resort to over-the-counter remedies. These do not address the actual cause of the baby’s crying, are generally not effective, and may be dangerous. Even prescription medication can have major risks.
Some babies have breastfeeding challenges and are unhappy because they are not getting enough milk.
Some babies are sick and cry because they are in pain or distress or have a medical emergency. Recently, researchers have also considered the role of the baby’s gut bacteria (microbiome) in excessive crying (Eutamène 2017).
Some more controversial but popular diagnoses that are blamed for a baby's crying include:
Eutamène H, Garcia-Rodenas CL, Yvon S, et al. Luminal contents from the gut of colicky infants induce visceral hypersensitivity in mice. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2017 Apr;29(4)