Is your baby crying a lot, especially in the late afternoon or evening? Colic might be the reason, and we know it's tough for parents. But don't worry, our expert, Andrew J. Carlson, Medical Director of Primary Care at Connecticut Children’s, is here to help you understand why your baby is so fussy and share some ways to make things better.

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How do I know if it’s colic or just normal crying?  

Crying is normal—and expected—in babies. But the infamous colic is different. It’s a lot and can feel out of control. If you’re not sure, ask yourself: 

1. Is your baby crying for more than three hours a day?  
2. Does the crying happen more than three days a week?  
3. Has this been going on for more than three weeks?  
4. Does your baby clench fists or curl legs when crying?  
5. Is their belly often tight or face really red when crying?  

Why is my baby so colicky?

We're not sure exactly, but colic usually lasts a few weeks to a couple of months. It might be because your baby is sensitive to the world, has gas discomfort, or maybe a milk issue. It's a phase that will pass. 


Is it colic—or something more serious?

Look for these signs:
•    Vomiting, not just a little spit-up
•    Diarrhea or really loose stools
•    Colicky behavior if your baby is older than 3 months.

If you’re worried, call your pediatrician to be sure. 

>Related: Get Ready for Your Newborn’s First Well Visit

What can I do to help my baby—and myself?

We get it, parents. Colic is tough for everyone. Try these: 

  • Feed your baby when they’re hungry, but don’t force it.
  • Hold your baby upright after feeding. 
  • Cuddle, sing and walk to soothe them.
  • Change your baby’s position often.

And for you:

  • Remember, crying won’t hurt your baby.
  • Take breaks. Put your baby in a safe place and step away.
  • Ask someone you trust for help so you can take a break.

This tough time will pass. Hang in there, and take care of yourself, too.  

You might also like:

•    Are You Doing Tummy Time Correctly?
•    How to Calm a Crying Infant- And Yourself 
•    The 101 on Infant Heart Murmurs