Eighty mothers of normal newborn infants kept daily records of their infants' fussing for the first 12 weeks. Twenty-eight babies were the firstborn in the family. An attempt was made to eliminate excessive environmental tension as an additive factor. Babies with underlying pathology were eliminated also. There was an average of 2¼ hours' crying in the first 7 weeks, with less each week thereafter. The time of day of its occurrence is summarized. Typical non-fussers sucked their fingers for longer periods each day. Babies who cried an unusual amount responded to manipulation of environmental tension. The possible innate reasons for crying in the infant are summarized. The hypothesis is made that a certain amount of crying is necessary. The reassuring aspect of this incidence of crying in "normal," emotionally secure, well-fed infants can be stressed by pediatricians for earnest parents who become anxious about a normal amount of unsatisfiable crying in their own neonate.
- Copyright © 1962 by the American Academy of Pediatrics