Colic has been described as being a medical mystery in the regard that it applies to any healthy, infant who cries more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week, for more than 3 weeks. Colic is a common and shows up in 40% of all infants. It is defined as excessive crying and usually starts during the third and sixth weeks after the infants birth and ends with the infant is three to four months old. What is most important for the diagnosis is the sustained crying in an otherwise healthy baby for a regular period of the day lasting for several weeks almost like a schedule consistent crying.

Symptoms of Colic:

Fussing and crying are normal for infants, and a fussy baby doesn't necessarily have colic. In an otherwise healthy, well-fed baby, signs of colic include:
  • Predictable crying episodes. A baby who has colic often cries about the same time every day, usually in the late afternoon or evening. Colic episodes may last from a few minutes to three hours or more on any given day. The crying usually begins suddenly and for no clear reason. Your baby may have a bowel movement or pass gas near the end of the colic episode.
  • Intense or inconsolable crying. Colic crying is intense and often high pitched. Your baby's face may flush, and he or she isdifficult to comfort.
  • Posture changes. Trembelling mouth, curled up legs, clenched fists and tensed abdominal muscles are common during colic episodes.
Colic affects as many as 25 percent of babies. Colic usually starts a few weeks after birth and often improves by age 3 months. By ages 4 to 5 months, the majority of babies with colic have improved.
When to see a doctor
Seek immediate medical attention if your baby's crying could be the result of a fall or injury.
Contact your baby's doctor if you're concerned about your baby's crying, especially if you notice changes in your baby's eating, sleeping or behavior. You can help your baby's doctor by noting in a diary when your baby cries and for how long. Also record your baby's sleeping and eating patterns

Causes of Colic/Risk Factors:
Doctors do not truly know what causes colic in babies however there are some theories that could possible explain why colic happens. Listed below are some of the known theories:

  • The baby’s digestive system could be immature after birth.
  • Comforting the baby might be under stimulated
  • During eating, baby swallows air causing gas and problems
  • Mom’s diet might be affect baby though being breastfed
  • Allergies could be causing baby to react

These things may make a baby cry easily and have trouble stopping. As babies grow and develop, they are better able to control their crying. Colic is not related to health conditions, such as digestion problems. But having gas in the belly can make crying worse. Colic is not caused by pain or illness.

Infants of mothers who smoke during pregnancy or after delivery have a greater risk of developing colic. Many other theories about what makes a child more susceptible to colic have been proposed, but none have been proved. Colic doesn't occur more often among firstborns or formula-fed babies. A breast-feeding mother's diet isn't likely to trigger colic. Girls and boys — no matter what their birth order or how they're fed — experience colic in similar numbers.

There are no lasting medical consequences of colic and babies who have colic grow and develop normally.

Colic Treatments:

The best way to treat a baby with colic is identifying and avoiding things that will cause the crying episodes if possible. It also important that parents understand what will comfort their baby. Below is a list of possible treatments:

  • Holding the child. The more hours the baby is held, the less often the baby will become fussy during the evening.
  • Rocking the baby is also calming, and could help the baby reveal their gas. Because babies will swallow more air when crying, they will produce more stomach pain and gas, which in turn will produce more crying for the baby.
  • Holding baby in upright position can help move gas from the body and reduce heartburn. Adding a warm towel or placing a warm wattle bottle on the baby’s stomach can sooth them.

Web resources:

Related Terminology:
Bladder Infection
Abdominal Pain
Intestinal Gas
Biliary Colic
Renal Colic

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