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  • Post last modified:March 8, 2021
  • Post comments:4 Comments

It can be quite stressful when your baby seems to be crying more or less throughout the day. But when separation anxiety rather than illness is the reason, there are great ways to improve the situation quickly. Here’s how!

11-month-old baby cries most of the day
Mom’s Question:

My 11-month-old baby cries most of the day. I am tired and worried. Here’s some backgroud:

He is a beautiful healthy 11-month-old baby boy, but he is so cranky all the time but mostly only in the presence of myself and my husband.

He is so attached and won’t let me do anything. He wants to be picked up and carried constantly and unless we are in the room, bear screams at the top of his lungs.

I get so upset and tired by it. I want him to be happy and independent. Sometimes I stay with him but don’t pick him up, but he just cries and cries until I can’t bear it and end up picking him up. Tears come rolling down his face.

His grandparents say he is as good as gold when they look after him, so I know that nothing is wrong with him. I don’t know how to break the habit of picking him up. My neighbors must think I have a nightmare child and it’s impossible to leave him to cry when he is in that state.

Please advise. He is my first child. He’s not crawling either and I think he is frustrated by that as he wants to move but can’t despite me putting him on his tummy from a very young age every day. I am so worried about him. I need help!!!


Easy Baby Life

What To Do When Baby Cries Most of the Day


Firstly stop worrying!

Your stress transmits to your little boy and he will react by panicking when you go out of the room. And too bad about your neighbors, it is not their business. You must not worry about what others think (including parents!). Your job is to have fun with your baby and enjoy him, and that is the best thing for his development.

Pick him up or play on the floor

Some babies are more clingy than others, and it just means they need more cuddles and reassurance. If you can manage a backpack or sling, he would probably love traveling around with you as you chat about what you are doing.

I am not a believer in leaving babies to cry for long. It doesn’t hurt a baby to cry a bit with frustration, but it does sound like your little fellow is stressing out too much. If he has to get distressed to get picked up then it is being reinforced. You are then literally teaching him that he needs to cry really loud to make you pick him up!

It is much better than you pick him up lots at other times too, and get down on the floor with him to play so he builds confidence.

Make it a game rather than a struggle between you. If you are going to him feeling resentful and frustrated then he is picking up on that and feeling insecure.

Stimulate his crawling – here’s how

He will crawl eventually – or maybe he won’t! Some babies actually start to walk before starting to crawl. But at this stage, being left on his own on his tummy is scary and frustrating, and although a certain amount of frustration causes babies to reach that bit further and pull themselves up, he will only do that when he feels confident. And if he has got fearful you are going to go away, or are out of reach he will just stress out.

You can encourage him by putting toys just out of reach but you stay with him, smiling and encouraging him. Play rolly-polly games on the floor with him, and peek-a-boo games so he knows you are coming back.

Separation Anxiety Make Babies Cranky and Clingy

Don’t worry, he is just at the age where babies are often clingy and hate Mom disappearing. This is called separation anxiety and is a sign of development in a child, not the opposite.

He will grow out of it, just enjoy him and have lots of interaction with him. Babies gain independence much quicker by having lots of attention and play than they do being left on their own to try to achieve control. The separation anxiety cannot be mitigated by the baby being left alone, but rather the opposite. The more their needs to be close are fulfilled during this phase, the faster the phase will pass.

Learn more about 11-month-old babies and how to play with them here.

Have fun,

More Crying, Clingy Babies

Find answers and comments below.

Comments for “11-Month-Old Baby Cries Most Of The Day”

Nov 15, 2015i feel your pain
by: Anonymous
I have an 11-month-old daughter and from the day I brought her home from the hospital it was colic and now it is the constant crying about everything. It is so frustrating and I can’t go anywhere or do anything or get anything done. I am at the end of my rope.
It is very frustrating and I have two older boys who were the total opposite. They would sit play with their toys and watch cartoons on tv – I never have had to deal with this ever.

I have taken her to the doctors because I just don’t know what to do anymore. my husband can tune her out and it doesn’t seem to bother him. Yet he is only home for a few hours cause he is at work all day. so to him, it doesn’t seem that sever. but after 16 or 20 hours of crying and no relief ever I am just so tired and frustrated I feel like I am the one doing something wrong although I know that i am not.

She is changed, fed, clean, i try to comfort her but nothing i do seems to matter, she doesn’t even like to take a bath anymore even that has become a battle in of itself everything with this child is a battle and I just don’t know what to do anymore.

My entire family lives on the east cost i am here in the midwest and i think i will take her back to the doctors this week and make them do a complete workup on her because there has to be something wrong. no child cries and cries like this for no reason there has to be something that they are missing.

I have has two other children and a mother knows when something is wrong when a child doesn’t sleep and just cries all day and night long i am sorry that is not normal so ya i feel your pain but if the situation doesn’t get better demand that they check out your child and see if maybe there isnt something else causing it.

Sometimes I think just because we are women they tend to think they can just say we are emotional or hormonal and push us aside or away and not do anything.

Hope everything works out for everyone, good luck

May 10, 2016Not just my baby then?!

by: Anonymous

It’s so hard to keep things in perspective when your baby cries a lot. Even though I know keeping calm helps her to stay calm too, I still find myself crying with my baby sometimes!

Try as you may you’ll never know everything that goes through a baby’s mind and having a little time to yourself is so important. Eat well, exercise when you can and sleep when your baby does. Be good to yourself. I try to follow my own advice and when I do I feel a lot better! Good luck :-)

Jun 22, 201611-month clingy, cries a LOT, sleeps little, hates high chair!

by: Steph

Oh, how I empathize with you all! Not that I wish misery upon any of you, but it’s somewhat comforting to know it’s not just us…My 11-month-old son was colicky almost from birth, and, although he has gotten a lot better (ie there are periods of non-crying/discomfort now, whereas at 4-5 months it was constant), he is now clingy, and back to crying a lot of the day. Now the latest thing is protesting the chair…Not sure it’s frustration as he cruises/crawls/stands…

Could be teething (he has only 2!), but then he farts and we think ‘Oh yes, bowel issues again’. Did any of your babies have a problem with absorption of breastmilk? Our son had malabsorption early on, which was causing the colic (confirmed by poop test), so he has been on part-Nutramigen formula. Sometimes, though, I wonder if he had/has acid reflux… He still goes to bed way later than any of my friend’s kids (approx 10/10.15pm), and wakes between 6 and 7 am. His naps aren’t a sure thing, either – on a good day he’ll do 2-3 hours total, but often it’s 1.5 hrs!

I, too, have often cried with him and can hardly get a thing done when he’s awake. This is my first child, and although I adore him, it’s been so hard and beyond exhausting..

Jul 20, 2016Stress!

by: Olivia

Wow! I thought it was just me. My 11-month-old baby boy cries all the time. He too had really bad colic initially and eventually at 5 months he was put on SMA lactose-free milk. It was a great improvement for a couple of months until he started on solids. He is very fussy and doesn’t eat much. He only has 2 bottles a day and won’t take chunky food. Since going back to work 6 weeks ago, he has started to cry a lot again.

1 tooth finally came through a few weeks ago so I know part of his discomfort is teething but every night is hard work. He has his last bottle at 8:30 then takes him until about 10:30/11:00pm to go to sleep. (he sleeps with a dummy and I have to rock him to sleep)He then wakes up a couple of times at night for his dummy or a cuddle, it’s like having a newborn again. I feel so stressed all the time and it upsets me when I hear about perfectly behaved babies who eat and sleep. My baby also seems very frustrated as he hasn’t quite mastered the art of crawling. He can get onto his front but doesn’t quite know what to do with his legs yet.

Oct 17, 2016Me toooooo
by: Anonymous
My eleven-month-old boy also cries all the time, I am at my wit’s end and very depressed about it!!
He also had colic but now just cries for no reason until I pick him up.

He is crawling/cruising so not sure its frustration.

I find myself snapping and shouting at the rest of the family because I just can’t take it.

Also, feel like I’m neglecting my 3-year-old as most of the time I can’t even hear her!!

All I want is for him to be a happy little boy.

Any advice


Dec 13, 2016! Glad I’m not alone!

by: army wife

My son is almost a year and he cries A LOT!! I can’t leave the room or leave him to play or anything. He has been like this for months! On top of being sick or teething. His dad has been deployed since he was 4 months old and we moved as well. His dad came home for 2 weeks in Oct and I’m pregnant now too and all that seems to add on top. He has been going to hourly daycare to get him used to being around other kids and he is fine there. He doesn’t even cry when I leave. Why is he only like that at home with me? It does drive you crazy hearing your baby cry all day and you can’t do anything about it! Of course my husband says.. he’s a baby, that’s what babies do, but he has NO IDEA!

I’m am exhausted and don’t know what to do anymore

Dec 14, 2016What really helps…

by: Paula (Baby Help Line)

Hi, I know what you mean about losing one’s mind. Spending all day long with a clingy, crying 11 month is exhausting. One of the times I did that, I was also pregnant, and it was very tough.

But… for anyone who wants this phase to end quickly there is only one thing to do – pick your child up! At this age, babies often suffer from both separation anxiety and stranger anxiety and walking out of the room, letting them cry it out or anything like that will only make it take longer for them to feel secure again.

Studies show very clearly that children that are being carried around more and comforted when they cry become independent sooner. And it is natural if you think about it. Your child is worried that you will disappear – and what do you do – walk out of the room and disappear. So we reinforce their greatest fear and tell that it is true that mom will disappear. Not very effective!

So to protect your back and keep your hands free, get yourself a carrier that works also for older kids, like this one, or a hip carrier, like this one, which works for babies up to 33 pounds. Then let your child be where you are and in your arms as much as possible.

I put my baby in the kitchen sink sometimes while cooking. She was happily playing with the water and I was able to fix the meals.

Sitting close to you in a high chair, and getting anything that needs the pincer grasp, such green peas in a small bowl, is often a perfect distraction to keep an 11-month-old happy. Just don’t go out of her sight!

Also play a lot of peek-a-boo, to help them understand that things (and moms) don’t go away forever when they are out of sight.

It is a tough time, but it will pass, and sooner if you respond to your child’s needs.

Hope this helps,


Feb 16, 2017colic

by: Anonymous

For those of you that are saying that your baby is colicky…..I don’t believe in the term “colic.” If you look online you will see that most doctors are now realizing that babies are “colicky” due to acid reflux. My son was the perfect baby until he was 3 weeks, then he screamed seriously nonstop for two weeks. I kept calling the doctor and they would tell me colic and probably thought I was a crazy first-time mom.

The third time I called I told them that I wasn’t taking colic as an answer and there was something wrong…a baby doesn’t cry for 20 or more hours a day. They gave me acid reflux medicine to try and after three days he was a brand new baby!!

Feb 16, 2017Reflux, or…??
by: Anonymous
It -can- be acid reflux, and I’m sorry for those it affects as it’s tough, but this -is- often over-diagnosed these days. It’s best to get a poop test first to rule out carbohydrate malabsorption before administering meds, which peds often do without being fully sure of the diagnosis. Even an Upper GI can be inconclusive re reflux (all babies reflux a little). Malabsorption can often be fixed with a hypoallergenic formula – you can eventually wean back onto the breast at least part-time if you pump thru’ the formula-only period, as I did.

Feb 21, 2017same problem

by: Anonymous

I got an 11-month-old daughter and I don’t have the crying if I leave the room, I also have it even if i come from sitting on the floor with her to sit on the sofa and it not just crying, it is screaming and tantrums. I can’t even go for a toilet without her screaming and crying.

I pick her up and then put her back down and she starts and with me at home all day till my partner gets home. I can’t keep carrying her about it not helping her, it making her think if I cry I’ll get picked up so it not good to carry them about cause that what caused the problem – getting picked up and cuddles all the time when little. And I got other things to do if i spent all day carrying her about i would be frustrated and tired and my flat would be a a mess and she would not get feed. I found the best way to leave her and keep coming back to her every 5 min to say hello. It not like I don’t play and cuddle her. it a stage they go through.

by: Anonymous
I would like to hear back from some of you moms that posted a while ago because I have one unhappy 10-month-old! She was a colicky baby in the beginning of her life. Things were better for a little while. But then, she started being clingy, crying when I left the room, crying when I put her down, take away things that aren’t toys, crying, crying, crying. At least, I could hold her on the couch and she’d be happy.
Now, she seems to be unhappy all of the time, even when I hold her(except when she is sleeping, of course). It is starting to stress me out. I have three other kids. I have never experienced anything like this before. I am just trying to determine if this is a phase, or is something wrong here?

Like I said, I’d really like to hear from some of you moms that are saying “been there, done that”. I’d really like advice, or at least hope that there is an end to this.

Dec 06, 2017Dear anonymous:

by: Jen

I was wondering how things are for you? You said you were going to take your LO to the doctor and get a full workup…anything happens with that? I have an almost 1-year-old and cry every day along with him! Severe colic/acid reflux since birth. Special formula the whole nine yards. It seemed to get a bit better around 5 months but shortly after became a terror!

Naps well but doesn’t sleep thru the night, cries all afternoon for me but is supposedly good for sitter! I give him lots of love and attention but someone has to make dinner so at some point I have to let him be! I’m so frustrated and don’t know what to do anymore! Any advice???

Mar 30, 2018my baby too
by: Anonymous
If I had to tell my situation, those would be the exact words, that is so crazy u put it like that, I dunno what to do either, can’t do anything. my babysitter who has two grown children a couple of grandbabies says its just his personality?!

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Bella's mom

    My 11-month baby was exactly like that. She would not crawl or play on her own. She wanted to be held most of the day and I had to be in her sight.

    Then… we moved out of state. We used to live in a 2 story home with all hardwood floors. Our home was not very kid friendly. Now we live in a one-story apartment that has carpet throughout, it is bright, and we made the living space very child-friendly. Within a week she was crawling all around and now she is even cruising. She plays with her toys that I set up for her in her own corner. She makes her way into her bedroom all by herself and opens her books and enjoys her day.

    This was a temporary move while we look for a house here. For some reason, it has made parenting a lot easier. I can keep an eye on her very easy. Also, I feel a lot less stress with less to take care of here, so I think it has rubbed off on her.

    I am going to really take my time moving into a big overwhelming house again and just enjoy our carefree time here!

  2. Vikki

    Hello, I found your letter because I was looking for advice for the same thing myself. My 12-month-old daughter had been living in four different cities ever since birth and she appears more insecure, stressed and cry-ready for babies her age, and it’s been months.

    She screams and cries a lot of tears at the drop of a hat when she wakes up, and whenever I go to a different room (even when I keep talking to her to try reassure her). I can’t do anything else too, and it’s driving me nuts and exhausting me (I’ve even resorted to using earplugs to dampen the noise). I use a baby carrier but it hurts my back AND she complains if I do not interact with her enough. I finally resolve to nursing her a lot and holding her in one arm wherever I go while I do other things, which is quite hard on my arms and back. Not to mention that, I’m missing a LOT of sleep because I try to catch up on things only while she sleeps.

    Some of the things seem to help, even just a tiny bit (I’m speaking what applies to my DD but I hope it is helpful to you too). My daughter seems to need things that can attract her attention and hold her interest, so she can break the cycle of needing you all the time. It’s a vicious cycle because if she doesn’t feel secure, she doesn’t feel like exploring her world. I’ve gotten her a lot of toys, as well as household goods and junk that I do not care too much about. Anything (safe) she wants to play with, I let her. Those baby music videos help hold her attention a bit too, the ones that have the sound of chimes and bells and funny sounds. In fact I’m thinking about making a video of me singing, to see if it helps at all. Her father who’s away lot, made one, and it seems to soothe her and hold her attention a bit.

    Playing peek-a-boo does seems to help, sometimes. I suppose it helps give a fun (instead of stressful) association with periods of time when you disappear out of sight (for a few seconds), and hopefully it can progress to longer periods. In fact the only chance I can shower in peace is let her play with me behind the shower curtain (she does the peek-a-booing!), even though it makes for a wet bathroom floor and baby.

    One other thing that helps a lot is try tiring her physically. Even though the last thing you feel like doing is leaving behind the piling housework and go outdoors to play with your baby, it might pay off. My DD can now stand and move around with support, and bringing her to the playground to stand a bit, to play in the baby swings or the slide (belly down), seems to make her “forget” she needs to hold my legs all the time. Even watching other kids and babies seem to help, and babies learn by watching their peers too. Along the same lines, even though you are tired, going to playgroups help too. Also, I wish I had one, my friends told me the Jumperoo (the gadget that holds your baby in a harness and lets them jump, with lights and sound as a reward for the jumping) helped give them a good workout and let them sleep well too! It looks like your son can soon crawl around, so maybe at least you can bounce him up and down your bed (while holding him) so he gets to push his little legs a bit.

    Make sure your baby gets enough sleep too because lack of sleep makes for a crankier baby. But most important of all, take good care of yourself. DO whatever that helps to relieve your stress level, because babies do pick that up from you — practice deep breathing, take stress-busting supplements if you think it helps. I’m still looking for more tips too.

    Hope it helps and good luck!

  3. Helen

    Wow, you all seem to have gone through what I am currently going through with son number 2. I am now back at work and the child minder says he is no where near as bad I made out he was with me!

    He is still not sleeping through, waking at least twice a night and mostly 3 or 4 times. I will Rock him to sleep but as soon as I put him down he wakes screaming. I can’t leave the room and it is making very 4 year old really unhappy, he can’t take being in the same room as the screaming baby and it’s affecting my relationship with him.

    This has been from birth but neither the health visitor or the doctor seem to believe me when I say I think there is something wrong. One Dr said perhaps silent reflux, was checking what meds to give him, went on holiday and the other doctor told me over the phone, without seeing him, she did talk with me for a while but I don’t think anyone is taking me seriously.

    I am sure he has separation anxiety that causes a lit of the crying, but the continuous crying even though I am holding him, the straining and being uncomfortable in any position meaning I have to end up either holding him tight to stop the punching and kicking or put him on the floor – hardly conducive to keeping calm and quiet at 4 am, so then he ends up being awake for nearly 2 hours. I then have to go to work all day the next day and then the start the night time all over again.

    He was exclusively breast fed but Dr said introduce bottle as maybe he was hungry – only has one breast feed at night when I can’t settle him and give up to let him into bed with me so at least I can get some rest

    I too feel awful for being short and shouting at both kids, but am at my wits end. Off to see Dr again on Monday – any tips from those who have made it out the otherwise would be great

    Thanks xxx

    1. Paula Dennholt

      Hi Helen!
      I understand that your situation must be so exhausting and frustrating, especially since you think there might be something more wrong than “just” separation anxiety. I don’t claim to have the full solutions at all – just wanted to offer a few ideas on handling the situation.
      1) Night sleep – 11-month-old is a period of poor sleep (as I am sure you know) for many babies, because of separation anxiety. In your situation, where you need the sleep, as does you 4-year old – I would take my 11-month old to my own bed or at least to my own room. You say that he falls asleep if you rock him. What happens if you cuddle up together in the evening and he is allowed to sleep close to you? If that improves his sleep at all, go for it! Your 4-year-old will sleep better, you will sleep better and your 11-month-old will sleep better too and maybe be less grumpy during daytime. (Same for you, actually!) You will have plenty of time later on to get him to sleep in his own bed and his own room.
      2) Continue investigating if there is anything health related affecting your son. Kudos for not giving up!
      3) You mention that this has been going on for a long time. You write mostly about the nights, but the thread is about daytime, so I suspect you find his behavior challenging at daytime too. The thing is, babies are really sensitive to emotions around them, and if you feel stressed out and sort of just waiting for his next tantrum, be sure he takes it in! Even if it is exhausting, your son is obviously sensitive to other people’s feelings and he is also sensitive to his own feelings and he has a strong will – he is telling you over and over again that something is not right. These are both great traits that will help him a lot in the future! So appreciate these traits in him even if they are expressed in exhausting ways right now! :-)
      4) I think one of the thing to do is to start focusing on the good times and try to expand them. At 11-months-old, a baby needs plenty of stimulation. What makes him laugh? In what situations do you feel good together – even the three of you (with your 4-year-old)? Make a list of good times and try add as many as you can each day. Get down on the floor together and play a game – maybe your 4-year-old can build a tower and your 11-month-old can tear it down? Go to the playground and put both the kids in a swing? Have your kids feed you during a meal? Put bits of some favorite snack hidden among toys and have the kids find them (at levels suitable for both). Make funny faces together. Practice words. Get in the bathtub together. Dance to music. put both kids down on the bed and tickle them (if they enjoy it) Take a couple of weeks and focus on fun! You can even write down what you did every day, to make sure you are doing things. And stay focused. No mobile phone at the same time. Do things often rather than for long periods. All this is to actually get more happiness into your life, get rid of some stress and help you focus on what works for your baby rather than not. Sometimes we reinforce their challenging behaviors by expecting them.

      And really – get your sleep! If you sleep better with your 11-month-old in your bed, don’t fight it!