Demos of the song indicate that Lennon wrote the song in late 1967. The original lyrics were "Cry baby cry, make your mother buy." Lennon described to biographer Hunter Davies how he got the words from an advertisement.
This was the song the Beatles were working on when engineer Geoff Emerick quit, though his departure was precipitated by Lennon and McCartney's obsessions over the recordings of "Revolution" and "Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da", respectively, and the overall tensions of the White Album sessions. Emerick would not work with the Beatles again until the session for The Ballad of John and Yoko nine months later.