What is Colic?

Newborns with colic have long-lasting periods of crying and fussing. The cause of colic is unknown but is probably related to the baby’s temperament. There is nothing parents can do to prevent colic. It occurs in infants from birth to age 3-4 months. Crying usually happens around the same time each day, in the evening most often. Episodes may last up to three hours and can be very stressful for parents. The baby’s face may become red and flushed, the belly may seem tense, and they may pull their legs up to their belly. It may seem like nothing you do helps to stop the crying and the baby may simply continue crying until he or she falls asleep from exhaustion. Sometimes the crying finally stops when the baby passes gas or has a bowel movement.

When To Call Your Pediatrician

Many conditions mimic colic including formula intolerance, formula allergy, swallowing excess air, gastroesophageal reflux, and urinary tract infection. It is necessary for us to see your child in the office to determine what is causing the problem. If crying is severe, prolonged, or if accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation we should evaluate the child right away. Any infant under 2 months old with fever should be evaluated in the emergency room.

What You Can Do At Home

There are several things to try which may soothe a crying baby. Avoid overstimulation, especially around feeding time. Keep the room where your baby is quiet and lights low. Try soothing techniques such as rocking, white noise, or quiet music. Burp your child well to minimize gassiness.

Try not to get too upset yourself, even though this can be difficult. If you really need a break, there’s no harm in leaving your baby cry in the crib for a few minutes or with another caretaker.

Scroll to Top