Colic: What It Is and How to Help

Your baby may have colic if:

Periods of crying started within the first three weeks of life.

Baby has bouts of unexplainable crying at least three days a week.

Crying episodes last around one to two hours.

Crying spells begin in the late afternoon or evening.

Baby can often be consoled when held.

Baby draws knees up and clenches fists when crying.

Baby appears happy and healthy between episodes of crying.

If your baby has colic:

Use a baby sling or carrier and keep your baby close to you throughout the day.

Enjoy skin-to-skin contact with your baby.

Nurse or bottle-feed frequently; small, frequent meals are easier on your baby's digestive system.

Calm your baby in a rocking chair.

Hold your baby securely and gently massage his or her belly.

One by one, check to make sure all baby's needs are being met.

Go for a ride together in the car.

Use a wind-up swing to calm baby.

Join a mother's group to find out what has worked for other moms -- or just to commiserate!

Rest when your baby rests.

If you're overwhelmed, arrange for periods of solitude for yourself throughout your day.

If you're frustrated and nothing else works, place baby safely in his crib in a darkened room until you calm down.

Talk with another adult and ask for support if you feel you can't take it anymore.

Call your baby's health care provider if:

Your baby's cry suddenly intensifies, as if he is in severe distress.

When your baby awakens, he often seems to be in pain. 

Crying episodes last for more than three hours.

Crying bouts occur more than three times a day.

Along with the crying, your baby isn't gaining weight well and appears hungry.

Your baby is sick and is less than two months old.

Your baby still has colicky symptoms after three months of age.

Your intuition tells you something is wrong.

You are exhausted and frustrated by the crying.

Talk with Other Parents:

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