Colic is a generalised name given for excessive and frequent crying (more than 3 hours a day for more than 3 days a week), in a baby that otherwise appears to be healthy.

What are the symptoms of colic?

Common symptoms of colic include:

  • Intense and inconsolable crying
  • Crying more so in the late afternoon/evening
  • Redness in the face while crying
  • Fist clenching / bending knees / arching back while crying

What causes colic?

The cause of colic is generally unknown, although it can affect around 20% of babies. Some suggestions of causes include indigestion, reflux, trapped wind or an intolerance to some of the proteins found in breast or formula based milks.

Can it be treated?

Because the exact cause can be hard to identify, it is often difficult to recommend a specific treatment for colic. Common advice includes:

  • Prevent your baby from swallowing air during feeding by holding them upright
  • Wind your baby after each feed
  • Hold your baby during crying episodes, sometimes a gentle rocking movement can help

If your baby’s colic is caused by an intolerance to proteins in the milk then it may be worth speaking to your baby’s GP about certain medications which can help their digestive system,

Things to remember…

  • Colic is very common- don’t blame yourself
  • Your baby will get better with time
  • Different treatment methods work for different babies
  • Look after your own wellbeing
  • Always speak to your baby’s GP before trying any medications
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