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Health Information For Parents
Colic is when a healthy baby cries a lot for a longer time than most babies.
All newborns cry and get fussy sometimes. During the first 3 months of life, they cry more than at any other time. But when a baby who is healthy cries for more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week, a health care provider may say the baby has colic (KOL-ik).
Colic doesn’t mean a baby has any health problems. With time, colic goes away on its own.
Colic is a special pattern of crying. Babies with colic are healthy, and eating and growing well but cry in spells. The spells happen at the same time of day. Most often, the crying starts in the early evening.
During a colic spell, a baby:
Babies cry for other reasons that are not colic. The first step is to make sure a baby doesn’t have a health reason to be crying.
Call your doctor right away if your baby:
Doctors aren’t sure what causes colic. It may be due to digestion problems or a sensitivity to something in the baby’s formula or that a nursing mom is eating. Or it might be from a baby trying to get used to the sights and sounds of being out in the world.
Some colicky babies also have gas because they swallow so much air while crying. But it’s not the gas that causes the colic.
Colic most often starts when a baby is about 2–5 weeks old and gets better by the time the baby is 3–4 months old. Any baby can have colic.
There is no test for colic. Health care professionals ask about the crying and how the baby is doing They’ll do an exam to make sure there’s no health reason for the crying. If you think your baby has colic, call your doctor.
There’s no treatment to make colic go away. But there are ways you can help:
Some babies need less stimulation. Babies 2 months and younger may do well swaddled, lying on their back in the crib with the lights very dim or dark. Make sure the swaddle isn’t too tight. Stop swaddling when the baby is starting to be able to roll over.
Caring for a colicky baby can be hard. If your baby won’t stop crying:
Don’t blame yourself or your baby for the crying — colic is nobody’s fault. Try to relax, and know that your baby will outgrow this phase.
If you ever feel like you might hurt yourself or the baby, put the baby down in the crib and call for help right away. Never shake a baby.
The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome offers a program, the Period of PURPLE Crying, to help parents and other caregivers understand crying and how to handle it.
All Babies Cry is a program that helps people learn how to soothe a baby and cope with crying.
The program’s four parts are:
If you are worried you might hurt your baby or someone else will, call the national hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) anytime for help.
During the first 3 months of life, babies cry more than at any other time. Here’s how to soothe them.
If you’re a first-time parent, put your fears aside and get the basics in this guide about burping, bathing, bonding, and other baby-care concerns.
Abusive head trauma is the leading cause of death in child abuse cases in the United States. It happens when someone shakes an infant.
By the time you hold your new baby for the first time, you’ve probably chosen your little one’s doctor. Learn about your newborn’s medical care.
Along with considering baby names andÂ buying a crib, choosing the right health care provider should be on your to-do list when you’re expecting.
From birth, your newborn has been communicating with you. Crying may seem like a foreign language, but soon you’ll know what your baby needs – a diaper change, a feeding, or your touch.
Newborn babies donât yet have a sense of day and night. They wake often to eat â no matter what time it is.
Find out what this doctor’s visit will involve and what your baby might be doing by the first month.
Child abuse â whether it’s physical, sexual, emotional, medical, or another type â can harm kids in many ways. Learn how to spot the signs of child abuse.
Teething can be a tough time for babies and parents. Here are the facts on teething, including tips for baby teeth hygiene and relieving pain.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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