What Are the Causes of Baby Mood Swings?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 17 August 2019
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Baby mood swings can have a variety of causes, each of which should be reported to a doctor for further medical evaluation. In most cases, these mood swings are due to issues such as poor dietary habits, inadequate sleep, or boredom due to an improper amount of exercise. In other cases, the causes of baby mood swings may indicate the presence of an underlying medical condition, such as hypothyroidism, attachment disorders, or bipolar disorder. Any individualized questions or concerns about baby mood swings should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Poor nutrition can lead to the development of mood swings in babies or young children. Regular visits to a pediatrician will allow the doctor to track the weight gain of the child and address any potential nutritional deficiencies that may be present. Ingredients such as sugar or preservatives may trigger mood swings in some babies and may need to be limited or avoided completely.

Adequate sleep is very important for growing babies. Baby mood swings may develop if the child does not get enough sleep or if the sleep routine becomes interrupted. Babies need exercise and physical interaction with others. If these basic needs are not met, mood swings may develop.


Hypothyroidism is a type of hormonal disorder that is relatively uncommon in babies and children, although it is a possible cause of mood swings in babies. Delayed growth patterns, lack of muscle tone, and a hoarse cry are the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism in infants. Treatment involves the use of hormone replacement therapy.

Attachment disorders may lead to baby mood swings. Children with these concerns have trouble emotionally connecting with others and may have difficulty understanding or managing emotions. Some potential contributing factors may include abuse, neglect, or prolonged separation from parents. Treatment for attachment disorders can be difficult and requires the supervision of a doctor or mental health professional.

Bipolar disorder is yet another possible reason for baby mood swings. This is a psychological disorder characterized by alternating episodes of depression and mania. This condition is rarely diagnosed in infants, even though it may be strongly suspected. The parents may be referred to a child psychiatrist in order to learn how to effectively deal with the mood swings and behavioral issues caused by this disorder until the child is old enough for medical treatment, such as the use of medications or psychological therapy.



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