Colic In Babies, Causes, Symptoms, And How To Help

What is Colic?

Intense, persistent, and regular fussiness or crying in a healthy infant is referred to as “colic.” Because the baby’s pain appears to occur for no obvious reason and no amount of soothing seems to provide relief, colic can be particularly aggravating for parents.

These things happen at night, when parents are most likely to be tired. There is no known cause for a healthy newborn to cry for an extended period of time. During the first six weeks of life, it is most frequent.

By the time a baby is three to four months old, it’s usually gone. Colic is frequently accompanied by uncontrollable crying that begins out of nowhere.

Having to deal with their children’s uncontrollable sobs can be tiring and challenging for parents, too. If a baby’s sobbing goes beyond three hours a day, three days a week, for more than two weeks, it may be a sign of colic, which you can treat successfully.

Colicky, gassy, and sleepless are common symptoms of colic. It’s also common for them not to develop and acquire weight as expected. On its own, the colic will fade away. This usually occurs between the ages of three and six months.

It’s possible that excessive sobbing is a sign of colic, but it could also be an indication of a more serious health problem. After the baby passes gas or has a bowel movement, the symptoms of colic may diminish. When crying for a long time, they will likely swallow a lot of air.

What is the duration of colic?

Colic in babies does not last for life. Premature babies are more prone to bouts of hiccups, which normally begin at 2 to 3 weeks of age and reach their peak at about 6 weeks. It starts to decrease by ten-twelve weeks.

Most colicky babies get well by three months (but preterm babies may need a bit longer). A quick end to the colic is possible, or it can be progressive, with a few good days followed by a few terrible days until it is evident that the stage has passed.

While you wait for the storm to pass, arm yourself with knowledge and perseverance.

What causes colic?

Colic is a mystery to doctors. Researchers have investigated many reasons. The following are possible contributory factors:

  • Gas or indigestion-related discomfort or pain
  • Insufficient development of the digestive system
  • Underfeeding or overfeeding
  • Formula or breast milk sensitivity
  • Overstimulation
  • An early form of migraine headache in children
  • A person’s emotional response to excitement, irritation, or fear

Signs and symptoms of colic in babies:

Babies often cry and fuss from time to time. Even if they are generally healthy, newborns with colic cry more than most.

Your baby may be colicky, but how can you tell for sure? If you notice these symptoms, you may have a case of colic.

  • Crying disrupts sleep and feeding because the baby seeks a nipple only to refuse it once sucking begins, or sleeps for a few minutes only to scream when they wake up.
  • It’s common for crying to take place around the same time daily.
  • Baby might become more active with his arms and limbs, pulling them up and clenching them.
  • Your baby may furrow his brow, close his eyes wide, or even hold his breath for a short time.
  • Your infant appears to be wailing incessantly (not due to exhaustion, hunger, or a filthy diaper).
  • The baby might experience an increase in bowel activity and vomit or pass gas.

It is possible for your crying baby to inhale air. This can cause gas in your infant. It will cause their stomach to feel light or appear large. When they are pooping or passing gas, they may feel better.

Colitis is tough to treat because the cause is unknown. You should stay away from some foods, including fish, soy, almonds, eggs, wheat, and cow’s milk, especially if you’re breastfeeding. If your baby has lactose intolerance or a milk allergy, they might have colic while being fed formula.

What can you do to alleviate the symptoms of colic in a baby?

This is a common occurrence among babies. Consult the child’s pediatrician about any worries you have. In addition, reach out to other parents or relatives who have experienced similar situations.

It’s also important to remember that most cases of colic occur in babies who are large and healthy: those who are also highly active, lively, and excellent eaters.

Unfortunately, sick, malnourished newborns with underlying severe problems may be sad, fussy, and irritable all of the time. In contrast, babies with colic tend to have episodes at predictable times of the day.

Here are a few crucial ideas:

  • Consider the use of a pacifier in this case. Sucking is an instinctive behavior for newborns. Some babies find pacifiers soothing because of the non-nutritive sucking associated with them.
  • Most parents swear by physical stimulation, despite the lack of conclusive evidence to support this claim. Some babies are soothed by “white noise” sounds, such as the clothes dryer being within earshot or running the vacuum.

There is a substantial risk of injury to babies left unsupervised near a dryer.

  • Nursing moms should abstain from consuming excessive amounts of dairy products. If you’re giving juice to the infant, make sure it’s much diluted, or give him plain water.

Babies will drink it if they are particularly thirsty. Avoid gas-irritating foods like broccoli, cabbage, caffeine, beans, and onions.

  • It’s possible that the baby’s formula contains whey hydrolysate or a formula that is low in allergens. These adjustments may reduce the frequency and duration of symptoms in certain babies.

It’s worth the cost of a week’s trial to discover if the formula is to blame for the baby’s colic.

  • Applying a warm washcloth on the stomach, taking a warm bath, or giving an infant massage can all help calm an anxious baby.
  • Take some time off! Try to get someone else to watch the baby, even for an hour, and leave the house when you’re feeling overwhelmed by tension, fear, and anxiety. Maintain an optimistic frame of mind.
  • Do not consume any juices (young infants shouldn’t be consuming juice anyway).
  • In order to alleviate the strain on the baby’s belly, try strolling the baby in a front-pouch-style carrier with his legs drawn up.
  • Wrap the baby snugly in a soft blanket if possible (“swaddle”).
  • Make sure you do not over feed your baby. It is important to adhere to the frequent feeding schedule of your baby. As long as the measurements are consistent, you can measure the breast-fed infant in minutes or the bottle-fed newborn in ounces.

Support for moms with babies experiencing colic

If you’re finding it difficult to soothe your newborn’s fussing, try any of these ideas:

  • ​Keep in mind that colic is a passing condition that improves with age.
  • Confide in your partner, friend, or spouse.
  • Ask for support from your spouse or family members so that you can take a break from caregiving.

Living with colic

In the short and long run, colic won’t affect your baby. But for parents, colic can be a challenge. It can be difficult to care for a crying baby. Feeling irritated or overwhelmed could be common. Ask for aid if you’re experiencing these symptoms.

Ask a friend or family member to babysit your child. Do not hit, slap, or otherwise injure your baby. In extreme cases, shaking a baby can result in severe brain damage and even death. Get help immediately if you think you could hurt your kid.

Things to remember when dealing with colic

  • Why holding your infant for long periods will not harm your baby
  • You’re not to blame for colic, so don’t blame yourself.
  • A variety of methods are available for calming a crying baby.
  • The symptoms of a stomachache will pass in time. The majority of babies outgrow it between three and four months.

Colic Stress Relief: Parental Self-Care

A newborn with colic can be a hardship to raise. When their child is grumpy, most parents feel resentful, angry, or exhausted. You are not a bad parent because of these feelings. Keep in mind that you are not to blame for the colic’s occurrence and that it will pass.

Putting your infant in a playpen or crib for a few minutes while you take a breather is perfectly acceptable. If you need a break, call your babysitter, relatives, or ask friends. Reducing your stress will benefit your baby as well.


Some parents often shake or otherwise injure their babies in an attempt to calm a wailing newborn. Shaking a newborn can harm the brain and even cause death.

Parents who lack information on how to soothe a crying kid, educate themselves about colic, and the support they need to care for an infant with colic are more likely to have these uncontrolled behaviors.

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