When do babies stop crying so much?

The little face red, the fists clenched, the voice shrill and desperate - when babies cry, it is always stressful for the parents. But when children hardly stop screaming, many mothers and fathers reach their physical and psychological limits. What to do when you have a cry baby A conversation with the pediatrician and psychotherapist Margret Ziegler. She is the medical director of the Munich office hours for baby cribs at the kbo children's center. She advises and supports parents of babies who cry excessively, looks for the causes - and can often help.

Süddeutsche.de: Why do some babies cry more than others?

Margret Ziegler: Some children are more restless than others and are more easily irritated. Other babies are too awake to get enough sleep. Almost all cot babies are more immature in the sleep organization than other children. In the first three to four months, you sleep too little, especially during the day, and therefore scream more often.

Süddeutsche.de: So the way to less screaming is just getting more sleep?

Margret Ziegler: Exactly. An important starting point in the cry baby consultation is that the child gets more sleep during the day. The parents still have to help a lot at the beginning - with carrying around, darkening, going for a walk or swaddling, i.e. wrapping them tightly in a blanket. Crib babies need support to be able to fall asleep.

Süddeutsche.de: As a mother or father, do I have to worry if my child screams so much?

Margret Ziegler: Of course, the baby must be examined by the pediatrician, especially if the child suddenly cries more often, so that organic causes can be ruled out. However, families can usually be unconcerned: around 20 percent of all babies cry a lot and inexplicably in the first three months. That usually goes away. However, if there is no improvement, further clarification and advice should take place.

Süddeutsche.de: How much screaming is normal?

Margret Ziegler: According to the best-known definition, the "rule of three" by the American Morris Wessel, one speaks of excessive crying if the child cries for at least three hours a day, more than three days a week and longer than three weeks. For our treatment, however, the degree of stress on the parents is more decisive than the number of screaming hours. It is typical for baby critters that they cannot be calmed down. Other children also scream when they are hungry, cold, tired or need to be close to their mother. However, they can usually be calmed down quickly. On the other hand, cot babies don't.