When a 4-month-old baby is crying, and you don’t know why there are some age-related reasons to consider. We’ll walk you through these reasons here.
My 4-month-old is screaming at the top of his lungs, and I don’t know why! I have tried everything: walking around, singing, playing, changing his diaper, and feeding him. He has a stuffy nose, but I cleaned it out pretty well with saline and a nasal aspirator. He is still screaming.
Help!!! What do I do?
Crying 4-Month-Old Baby: The Reasons to Consider
Babies that cry no matter what we do can be very stressful. And often, it is not so easy to know why they are so sad.
Here are five different reasons to consider, given that your baby is 4 months old:
1. Your Baby is Sick and/Or in Pain
Since your baby is 4 months old, you do know each other quite well now. Does he appear to be in pain?
A stuffy nose could indicate a sore throat or ear pain. Does he have a fever? If he does, or if you somehow can check his throat and it is red, you could take him to a doctor.
Another common reason for pain is diaper rash. Not related to the stuffy nose, of course, but certainly uncomfortable. Do check his diaper!
If you’re not worried about his health, you can try taking him out either for a stroller walk or a car ride to help him fall asleep. Sometimes, babies that have a cold sleep so badly that they simply become overtired and need help to calm down and fall asleep.
If his nose becomes stuffy while asleep, try tilting his bed slightly to raise the part where he rests his head.
3. Tummy pain
At around 4 months, many parents start introducing some kind of solid foods. It may be cereal or some kind of puree. For many babies, especially those who are breastfed, this can be very hard for their little tummies to cope with. They become gassy, constipated, and in pain.
If you recently introduced new foods to your baby, he may be constipated or, in other ways, uncomfortable due to the food. Is he passing stools the way he usually does? If not, then constipation may be the reason he is crying.
One way to soothe tummy pain due to gas and constipation is baby massage.
4. Separation anxiety
Another reason for constant crying at around the age of 4 months can actually be separation anxiety. While most 4-month-old babies have not yet realized that they are separate from mom and dad, some have. And that is scary! Since babies do not understand time, a mom who is gone (to the next room) is gone completely. And it will take several months before the baby has grown to understand that you are still there, although out of sight.
In this case, just get yourself a baby carrier or sling and bring your baby along everywhere. Trying to teach the baby to self-soothe and spend time alone is only counter-productive during this period.
Lastly, a possibility is that your baby is teething. Teething is quite painful. Even though babies, on average, start teething at around 6 months, it is not uncommon for babies to get their first tooth at 4 months. If his gums are red, this could be the reason for his crying. (For teething symptoms, read this article.)
At this age, how the baby is crying may provide clues to what is wrong. Read our baby crying interpretation guide here for some ideas. Due to the stuffy nose, it is easy to believe that it is related to crying, but it doesn’t have to be. When a 4-month-old baby suddenly starts crying nonstop, we can at least exclude infant colic, which always appears a lot earlier.
You can also read this forum thread about another crying 4-month-old baby. There you’ll find even more ideas for dealing with the situation.
I hope this helps,
Who else has a crying 4-month-old? Do you have any tips or ideas to share? :-)
Paula Dennholt founded Easy Baby Life in 2006 and has been a passionate parenting and pregnancy writer since then. Her parenting approach and writing is based on studies in cognitive-behavioral models and therapy for children and her experience as a mother and stepmother. Life as a parent has convinced her of how crucial it is to put relationships before rules. She strongly believes in positive parenting and a science-based approach.
Paula cooperates with a team of pediatricians that you find here. They write or review all health-related articles.
This Post Has 2 Comments
Paula, you touched all possible problems which an infant could face and he/she can only cry in reply.. I want to add another possibility (I recently faced) which is odd sleeping patterns in which , sometimes, baby sleeps all the day and then in night baby wants to play.. Now tired mom and dad couldn’t play because they have to get up at sharp 7 am and then go for a job, parents try to get rid of this issue by using some suspensions :( this will also give a feeling to the kid of being neglected which makes the kid noisy. Once again, I like your detailed reply to Chelsea.
To soothe your baby you should use babies magic tea. I have gone through the same phase and this tea gave my child and me a great relief.