Is It Normal That My Baby Doesn't Cry? Reasons and Advice

Starting at birth, babies naturally start to communicate through crying. So if your baby doesn't cry, you might be wondering if everything is okay. 
Is It Normal That My Baby Doesn't Cry? Reasons and Advice

Last update: 14 September, 2018

Having a baby that doesn’t cry can actually be challenging, as it won’t be easy to recognize when he’s hungry, cold, or needs something. You might wonder if he’s ill, or has a hearing or communication problem. You may also ask yourself, “Is it normal that my baby doesn’t cry?”

A baby’s cry is his main communication tool. However, he may not use it just yet.

Why didn’t my baby cry when he was born?

You might believe that all babies cry automatically at birth or when stimulated by the doctor. However, this isn’t completely true.

Babies born by natural birth suffer from a lot of stress. This type of birth causes trauma in the infant that makes him cry automatically. In turn, this activates his respiratory system.

However, many babies are born without crying. This happens because some are more sleepy and calmer than others. If this happens, the doctor or the person who attended the birth will stimulate him to start crying and immediately clear his airways, which are still full of amniotic fluid.

Even babies brought into the world through cesarean section tend to yawn or cough more than cry. Not crying could be a sign of a health problem. For this reason, you should check the baby to rule out any abnormality.

In these cases, the neonatologist will perform the Apgar test. This test will evaluate, among other things, five specific factors:

  • Muscle tone
  • Reflexes
  • Skin color
  • Heart rate
  • Breathing

According to the results, the medical team could decide if they need to give the baby oxygen.

Therefore, when you hear your baby cry at birth, that’s a sign he’s in good health. You can soothe him when you put him to your chest.

Is It Normal That My Baby Doesn't Cry? Reasons and Advice

Possible reasons why your baby doesn’t cry

Is it normal for your baby to never cry? Don’t worry, the important thing is that all of his needs are met. Despite this, every newborn is different. They could feel hungry or cold without being able to express it through crying.

If the doctor has already told you that everything is fine, it’s because your baby is still learning to cry. In this sense, you need to start to decipher what he feels or wants through his movements and gestures.

Just because a baby isn’t crying doesn’t mean that everything is fine. Therefore, you need to keep track of his needs. For example, his meal schedule, next nap, and last diaper change.

It’s essential that the mother learns to take care of all of her baby’s needs. You need to interpret how your baby communicates and respond appropriately.

How to identify a hungry baby

Crying is a baby’s last resort, even if he has been hungry or it’s been a while. Crying is, then, his violent way of showing he’s hungry. To prevent the baby from going too long without eating, pay attention to these signs:

  • The baby turns his head to find the mother’s breast. Most newborns instinctively seek their mother’s nipple for food. By observing this behavior, you’ll understand that he’s hungry.
  • If you notice the baby shaking or moving a lot, it may indicate that something is wrong. He might not be hungry, but he might need a diaper change or has gas.
  • Another way to recognize that your baby is hungry is if you hear him sucking with his tongue. It might sound like him sucking on a bottle or your chest. It’s a sign that it’s time to eat.
Is It Normal That My Baby Doesn't Cry? Reasons and Advice

Indicators that the baby wants to sleep

On the other hand, if your baby looks tense or paralyzed with closed fists and rubs his eyes, he wants to sleep. He might yawn frequently or be unable to keep his eyes open. Those are also signs that it’s time for him to sleep.

“It’s essential that the mother learns to take care of all of her baby’s needs.”

How to know if he has a dirty diaper

The first sign will be the smell of feces. Also, if it’s been a while since he soiled the diaper, the baby will look uncomfortable and restless. Instead, when he’s asleep, he’ll wake up suddenly. You’ll be able to see tension and anger in his face.

If your baby still doesn’t know how to communicate through tears, you can interpret his signs without crying. Finally, if you still doubt if it’s normal that your baby doesn’t cry, ask your pediatrician.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.