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Colic

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What Is Colic?

  • Colic occurs when a healthy baby cries excessively, usually for 3 or more hours a day at least 3 days a week and for more than 3 weeks
  • It is common, with around 1 in 3 babies experiencing this
  • It usually occurs between the ages of 2 – 16 weeks and peaks when a baby is around 6 – 8 weeks old
  • The cause is unknown and it usually resolves by itself after a few weeks, with no treatment.

What Are The Symptoms Of Colic?

  • Prolonged screaming fits
  • A red face
  • Furrowed brow
  • Loud stomach rumbles
  • Knees pulled up, a tell-tale sign of tummy pain.

What Causes Colic?

While there are many theories and lots of research to try to find a cause, the exact cause of colic is unknown. Some theories include:

  • Muscle spasms occur in a baby’s bowel causing them pain
  • Babies needing time to adjust to their new environment outside of the womb
  • Their mother’s diet while breastfeeding can cause upset to her baby.

However, for most babies there is no obvious cause.

Managing Colic

  • Settling techniques, such as cuddling, swaddling, massage, soft music or gentle rocking
  • Ensuring they are comfortable, e.g. they’re not too hot or cold
  • Going for a walk or ride in the car if it soothes them. Make sure you’re not too stressed to drive
  • Burping your baby after feeds. Hold your baby against your shoulder or sit them upright and gently rub their back until they burp
  • Try removing cow’s milk and other dairy foods from your diet. Removing these should only be considered as an option with your doctor’s guidance
  • Medication. Most medications specific for colic haven’t shown to be helpful due to side effects. Always discuss these with your doctor before use.

Remember it is likely your baby will grow out of it within a few weeks, but make sure you speak to your healthcare professional if you are concerned.

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