Frequently Asked Questions about Colic

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A newborn child crying.

A newborn child crying. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Colic can be a frustrating situation, and parents of colicky babies often worry about what exactly is going on. Colic is defined as a baby that cries over three hours straight at least three days in a week for at least a period of three weeks.

Colic doesn’t cause any long-term difficulties for your baby, but it can be a hard thing to deal with for the both of you.

Here are some of the most commonly-asked questions about colic:

How long does colic last?

Colic is a temporary condition. It tends to be greatest at around the age of six weeks. It tends to show great improvement when your baby is between three and four months old. By the time your baby hits five months of age, colic will usually pass.

Why does my baby have colic?

That’s actually a very good question. Researchers know that about 1 in 5 babies will be colicky. It’s as common for firstborns as it is for those born later. There doesn’t seem to be any difference between boys and girls or breastfed and formula fed babies. There are plenty of possible causes out there. Gastrointestinal causes seem possible, as a newborn is still undergoing development of the digestive tract.

Does my baby need to see the doctor?

If your baby is crying frequently enough to be considered colic, you should definitely talk to your doctor. Your doctor can rule out other possible causes, such as a urinary tract infection or an intestinal infection. If your baby is feverish, experiencing vomiting or has blood in the stool, you should see the doctor immediately. These symptoms aren’t caused by colic.

Can the wrong food cause colic?

For breastfed babies, sometimes the mother’s diet can impact a baby’s gastrointestinal system, and cause colic. Stay away from spicy foods, and foods that your baby might be allergic to. The same is true with formula-fed babies; you might talk to your doctor about switching to a formula without lactose, just in case.


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