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Colic in infants is defined as excessive crying in an otherwise healthy baby.  The crying typically starts in the first few weeks of life and ends by 4 to 5 months. A baby with colic cries more often and for longer period than other babies. Doctors usually make a diagnosis of colic if a baby who is otherwise healthy cries for more than 3 hours per day, for more than 3 days per week, for a period of at least 3 weeks. It is not known what causes colic, but it’s usually harmless and resolves on its own. Some doctors think it’s kind of stomach cramp that occurs when your baby is trying to process food. If your baby has colic, he should still feed well and gain weight. If you notice that your baby is not gaining weight, consult your doctor.

It can help if you keep a record of how often and when your baby cries, for example after every feed or during the evening. This can help your doctor to diagnose the problem. Keeping the record can also help you identify the times when you need extra help. You could also think about possible changes to your routine. For example, if your baby tends to cry a lot in the afternoon and you have got in the habit of going out in the morning, try going out in the afternoon instead and see if that helps.
                                 Signs and symptoms of colic

Infantile colic is a diagnosis of exclusion as the symptoms of colic are non specific. Your doctor would make the diagnosis when he has ruled out all other causes such as hernia, volvulus, intussusception, severe nappy rash, and an infection in the ear or the brain.

  • Colic usually starts when your baby is two to four weeks old and may last for a few months.

  • Baby cries loudly and cannot be comforted.

  • Baby may look uncomfortable and appear to be in pain.

  • Baby may cry for two or three hours, roughly at the same time, usually once or twice a day, usually in the late afternoon or evening.

  • Baby may draw up his legs, clench his fists, and become red in the face.

  • Baby may arch his back or become stiff

  • Some baby's stomachs rumble severely and they may produce a wind

                                        How to relieve colic

    Since colic is not fully understood, there is no single treatment. Different babies are comforted in different ways, and you may need to try a few methods to see what works best for your baby. There are several things that you can try:    

  • Some babies with colic calm down if they are rocked either in a cradle, a rocking chair or on your lap.

  • Some babies need decreased stimulation and may do well swaddled, in a darkened room away from noise

  • Gently massaging your baby’s tummy may help as it may help him to pass wind. Massage in a circle, moving your hand from left to right.

  • Place your baby across your lap on his tummy and rub his back.

  • Take your baby out for a drive or a stroll outside.

  • Sometimes baby can be soothed with music. It may help to sing to your child or play music. Talk to your baby in soft soothing voice.

  • Burp your baby more often after feeds.

  • Your doctor may suggest changing your baby’s diet. This may help if your baby is bottle feeding and is sensitive to cow’s milk protein.

  • If you are bottle feeding, changing the size of the hole in the teat may help, as too small a teat can cause your baby to swallow air. Your doctor may also recommend changing to a different formula to see if it helps.

  • If nothing works, your doctor may prescribe you anti-spasmodic drops. It may help by relieving trapped wind.

You may find it very stressful to cope with the constant crying, especially, when there may be little you can do except try to comfort him and wait for the crying to pass.Watching your baby cry for hours can be very upsetting, especially for first time parents. It’s just a question of hanging on as best as you can. It may be hard to imagine, but this stage should last a few weeks at the most. When you can, take some time out for yourself. Having a healthy meal every day will help you to keep up your energy levels. You may also need to call on your family as reinforcement. It’s better to ask for help than to wear yourself out completely.

You can chat to other parents who are in a similar situation in our baby club.


Colic might not be the only cause of your child's discomfort. If your baby cries loudly all the time and cannot be comforted, you should first consult a doctor before deciding if he or she has colic.


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