Colic. It’s the dreaded ailment that could strike any new baby, causing sleepless nights for both parent and child alike. Colic doesn’t seem to discriminate when it comes to which babies get colic, which can add to the confusion and frustration parents may experience. Additionally, the only symptoms seem to be excessive crying, which babies are already prone to. So how do you know when it’s colic?
Your baby is considered to have colic if they are:
- Younger than 5 months
- Cry for “more than 3 hours in a row on 3 or more days a week for at least 3 weeks.”
- Usually cries at the same time each day (normally late afternoon or evening)
Colic is most common in babies that are 2 to 3 weeks old, peaks at 6 weeks, and unfortunately can last until your baby is 4 months old; 80% of babies are over colic by 4 months. The road is long, but luckily there are some steps you can take to help comfort your baby.
Ambient noise. Babies are still used to hearing the ambient noises they heard in the womb, so turning on a sound machine or creating low background noise can help soothe them.
Quiet. Some colicky babies respond better to a dark, quiet environment where there is little to no outside stimulation.
Swaddling can help a baby feel warm, safe, and secure, which will then likely lull her to sleep. Here’s a great “how to” on swaddling.
Bath time. The spray of the nozzle and rhythm of the warm water may help soothe your baby.
Take it outside: if you’ve exhausted all your options indoors, and your baby is still distressed, try going for a walk, with your baby in a sling, stroller, or carrier. The new environment acts as a distraction, while the rhythm of walking may lull them to sleep.
It’s a trial and error process, but eventually you will figure out what works best for your baby. To learn more about family health and parenting tips and advice, visit us at Any Baby Can and register for one of our affordable parenting classes, or give us a call at 512.454.3743.
Tip: If you suspect your baby has colic, you should always consult your physician to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms. Colic doesn’t cause long term harm to your baby but ailments whose symptoms mimic colic, like a gastrointestinal issue, require medical attention. If your baby displays other symptoms– like fever, vomiting, or bloody stools – in addition to crying, call the doctor immediately. These are not due to colic.