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Home >  Information A-ZAll Kids Information Articles Colic


Something every parent dreads is colic. No one wants their baby to develop this condition, but many babies do. Here is some information to help you understand what is going on with your baby if they are suffering from colic:

What is colic?
This is when a baby cries excessively, such as when they cry for at least 3 hours a day for at least 3 days a week.

What causes colic?

There is no certain answer to this, and some people believe it has to do with gastrointestinal problems, but there is no evidence to support this theory. Another belief is that the infant's nervous system isn't fully developed and they over-react to changes in their environment by crying. Then, once they begin, they just don’t know how to stop, since their nervous system isn't mature yet.

How common is colic?
It is quite common—as much as 20% of newborns will develop colic.

Are there any risk factors for colic?
No, colic equally affects boys and girls, first-born and later-born babies. There really are no determining risk factors for a baby to develop colic.

When does a baby get colic and how long does it last?
On average, a baby will develop colic between 2-4 weeks and they may have it for 3 months or longer.

What are the symptoms?
Obviously incessant and excessive crying, as well as drawing their legs up to their chest, appearing to be in pain, and having difficulty sleeping are all symptoms that tend to go along with colic. Most babies with colic tend to have these crying bouts more often in the evening than at any other time.

Is colic dangerous?
No, colic is almost always more of a stress than anything else. Most babies will eat and gain weight normally despite the crying, and many babies have no other problems besides this inexplicable constant crying.

Is there any relief for colic?
You can do any of the following to try to help ease your baby's crying:

  • Car rides
  • Take a walk outside
  • Rub the baby's tummy or back
  • Keep the baby moving in a baby swing

These are all ways to ease the crying for the time being, but to try to eliminate future occurrences of the crying, you may want to consider switching your baby's formula, or if you breastfeed, you may want to change your diet to eliminate cow's milk.

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