Colic is a condition where a baby will frequently and continuously cry in an excessive manner. It is a common problem that affects one in five babies. Colic tends to begin when the baby is a few weeks old and it normally stops between four to six months of age.
Although colic doesn’t cause any long-term harm it can be extremely frustrating and distressing for new parents. So what can you do to help your child?
What are the symptoms of colic?
Symptoms of colic may include:
- Intensive bouts of crying
- A period of continuous crying in the afternoon and evening that lasts several hours
- A baby’s face being red and flushed when they cry
- Clenched hands and legs that alternate from being bent out to straight up
What causes colic?
The specific cause of colic remains unknown and the symptoms may vary from baby to baby. However it has been suggested that a baby having digestive problems or taking in too much air when feeding may lead to pressure on the stomach.
Although a baby with colic may appear to be in pain the condition is not harmful and has no long-term effects. Your baby should continue to feed and gain weight normally.
Coping with colic
There is no cure for colic but there are many ways to soothe your baby during a colicky period.
Feed upright: Colic is often associated with wind, a baby will swallow less air if they are fed in a more upright position. Make sure you burp them afterwards.
Massage: Giving your baby a belly massage can comfort them and help them to pass wind. Our Colic Relief Massage Gel helps provides relief by gently warming the skin and massaging the belly.
White noise: Some babies find a sound of white noise, such as a static radio or TV, soothing, distracting them from the pain.
Movement: Pushing your baby around in their pram or pushchair or going for a drive may comfort them. You can also try rocking them gently over your shoulder.
Use a dummy: A baby may be soothed by sucking a dummy, finger or thumb.
Try a new pair of hands: Having a baby with colic can be extremely stressful and your baby may sense this in your body language. Try handing baby over to your partner, a friend or relative for a short period of time. They’re fresh enthusiasm might be just what they need to take their mind off the pain.
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