Infant Tips

What is Colic?

All babies cry. But when an otherwise healthy baby suffers from extreme fussiness, often defined as crying for more than 3 hours per day, more than 3 days per week for at least 3 weeks, they may have a condition called colic. A colicky baby often has an intense, high pitched cry which may or may not occur at the same time every day. Other signs of colic include gassiness, abdominal bloating, curling up legs, clenching fists, and arching their back.  Colic often begins around the 3rd week of life and goes away on its own at about 3 months, with no long-term effects. This can be a very difficult time for both baby and parents, try some of the tips below to soothe your child until they grow out of this phase.

The causes of colic are unknown. Doctors and researchers have looked at many possibilities, including differences in how babies are fed, allergies, immature digestive system, etc. However, there are still no clear answers as to why some babies have colic and others do not. The factor known to increase the risk of colic is in infants of mothers who smoke during pregnancy or after delivery.

If you believe your baby has colic, we recommend calling your pediatrician. It is helpful to keep track of your baby’s crying episodes, sleeping patterns, and eating habits and bring this information with you to your doctor’s visits.

While there is no cure for colic, there are methods of soothing that sometimes help alleviate colic symptoms. You can try swaddling, giving the baby a pacifier, putting the baby in a swing or vibrating car, going for a drive, or playing music.

Colic can be stressful for both you and your baby. Remember that it is important to take care of yourself, too. Ask for help when you need it, and if help is not available it’s okay place your baby down in their crib for a few minutes and take a break before making another attempt at consoling him or her. Keep in mind that colic will end and you will have survived one of your first challenges of being a parent!

For More information on Colic visit:
What can I do about Colic? From KidsHeath
Colic: The Basics From BabyCenter
It Takes A Village by Dr. Alanna Levine

Your Comments

One simple meerdy for the majority of colic suffering babies and one of the possible causes has been known for years. This particular cause is the intestinal flora in the babies gut is out of balance causing poor digestion and gas pain. The meerdy is simple probiotics (see study below) that you can find at any health food store, I have seen it work almost immediately. Buy only refrigerated for freshness as they tend to be of the better quality.Poor Intestinal Flora Symptoms: irritability, bloating, abdominal pain, foul smelling bowel movements, constipation/diarrhea, food sensitivities, rectal itching, spitting-up, poor immunityColic Symptoms: crying suddenly after a feeding, crying is loud and continuous for one to four hours, baby's face often is flushed or red, hands clenched, belly is distended or prominent, the feet are often cold, baby may arch their backs, draw up their legs to their tummy, extend their legs rigidly, pass wind.A 2010 scientific study published in the Journal of Pediatrics reports the effectiveness of a probiotic treatment for colic. The authors report states that the probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri significantly reduced crying time among infants with colic, compared to placebo. The subjects included 50 exclusively breast-fed infants, that were administered either L. reuteri or a placebo.Savino F, Cordisco L, Tarasco V, et al. Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 in infantile colic: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Pediatrics. 2010;126(3):e526-e533.Doc Blake
3/20/2012 8:39:11 AM

Since he is also diagnosed with efulrx I would have your pediatrician give you a referal to a gastrologist (sp?) at your local children's hospital. We went through the same crap with my doctor who labelled him as colic and efulrx but the meds did nothing for my son. I was told I was over reacting Took him to a different doctor got the referal and sure enough they took one look at his chart and told me to put him on neutramagen ..Alimentum is the same type of formula just a different brand. Ends up he was sensitive to the way the proteins where made in normal formula. It cured the screaming, crying and efulrx in 24 hours and he slept through the night.Either way try to keep him upright and burp him OFTEN .every 2 ounces. With our son placing him in the infant carrier and putting that next to the washer/dryer soothed him as well as the car ride until the vibrations stopped. Consider also one of the baby slings/wraps just make sure to always keep him upright to help prevent acid burning up his throat.Good luck hun I know exactly how miserable and exhausted you are and how difficult it is to get people to understand how hard this is to see your baby miserable and you can't fix it!
3/14/2012 11:22:35 PM

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Dr. Levine

Dr. Alanna Levine is a New York based pediatrician and a mom of two children.