Colic Health News

Colic is a term used to describe the fussy condition of babies who cry excessively. A baby is considered colicky if the crying goes on for more than three hours a day, three days a week and for more than three weeks.

Colic can range from crying a few hours a day, often in the evening hours, to crying almost all the time. Sometimes, the baby takes in excess air from all the crying, causing the infant to pass gas and have a tight, swollen belly. Babies with colic often turn bright red from all the crying, or they curl up their feet or fists like they're in pain.

Causes

Despite how common colic is, researchers aren't sure why some babies get colic and others do not. Some believe that certain babies are just more sensitive or temperamental than others or may have an immature nervous system. Hunger, acid reflux, problems digesting food properly or the mother having smoked during pregnancy are other potential causes of colic.

Treatment of Colic

Colic can be incredibly frustrating for new parents, but they should remember that it's not their fault and that the colic will go away. About half of the cases of colic end after three months, and 90 percent end after six months. Some simple things that can help with colic include: holding the baby frequently, massaging clockwise or applying warmth to the tummy, burping the baby frequently or changing the breast-feeding routine or formula choice.

Sometimes, however, colic can be a sign of something that needs medical attention. For example, if the colic goes on well beyond the age of 3 months, it might be a sign of acid reflux. Also, if a fever is present, if the baby’s cry is a painful one, if the baby stops gaining weight or you're afraid you might hurt the baby, contact a health care provider for assistance.

SOURCES: American Pregnancy Association; American Academy of Family Physicians

Date Posted
Article Title
4/28/2017
Happy Mom Means Less Colicky Baby

Mothers' support system also seems to have protective effect, study suggests

1/17/2017
For a Colicky Baby, You Might Give Acupuncture a Try

Treatment with 1 to 5 needles might stop the excessive crying, Swedish researchers say

3/18/2015
Slowed Growth Could Signal Crohn's Disease in Kids

Failure to gain weight, or weight loss, can point to a gastrointestinal issue, expert says

4/2/2014
More Evidence That Probiotics Won't Ease Baby's Colic

Parents gave Lactobacillus reuteri to colicky infants in study

1/13/2014
Probiotic Drops Might Ease Colic: Study

But more research is needed to assess any other effects on newborns, experts say

1/7/2014
Preemies' 'Excessive' Crying Tied to Risk of Behavior Problems Later

Study found an association, but experts don't know whether treatments would make a difference

10/7/2013
Probiotics Not Shown to Soothe Babies' Colic, Review Finds

Experts say parents should check with doctors for excessive crying, fussiness

4/16/2013
Colic May Be Linked to Childhood Migraine, Study Says

Expert suspects disrupted sleep cycles might play a role in both disorders

2/20/2013
Study Finds No Tie Between Acne Drug Accutane and Crohn's, Colitis

New data involving 45,000 women may settle the question, experts say

1/14/2013
Could Baby's Tummy Bacteria Help Spur Colic?

Balance of good/bad microbes may determine which infants have common condition, study suggests

10/31/2012
Gene Study Yields New Clues to Crohn's Disease, Colitis

These illnesses may occur when immune system 'balancing act' goes awry, researchers say

2/29/2012
Nicotine Patches May Not Help During Pregnancy

Most women stopped using them early, making it harder to draw conclusions, study says

2/20/2012
Study Links Colic in Infants to Migraines in Moms

Mothers with chronic headache condition more than twice as likely to have babies who cry excessively

2/20/2012
Mom's Nicotine Patch May Raise Baby's Risk for Colic

Behavioral therapy recommended over nicotine replacement during pregnancy, research says

6/23/2011
Health Tip: Calm a Colicky Baby

Here are some suggestions

5/2/2011
Study Questions Giving Babies Botanical Supplements, Teas

Nearly 1 in 10 infants fed these largely unregulated products, researchers say

3/28/2011
No Good Evidence That Folk Remedies Ease Colic

More study needed on home cures such as fennel, herbal tea, sugar water, review finds

10/6/2009
Health Tip: Soothing a Colicky Baby

A number of solutions to try

8/6/2009
Bacteria May Be Connected to Colic

Called Klebsiella, it could be causing gut inflammation, study suggests

6/30/2009
Sad Dads May Lead to Crying Infants

More factors should be considered than depression among moms, experts say

6/17/2008
Health Tip: Colicky Baby?

Understanding the condition will help

10/5/2007
Mouse Study Gives Clues to Colitis

A key immune deficiency can spur the disease, researchers say

7/17/2007
Bacterial Colitis on the Rise in U.S. Hospitals

Number of patients with the illness continues to climb, study finds

6/14/2007
Vitamin A Compound Could Fight Rheumatoid Arthritis

Mouse study shows retinoic acid can ease inflammation

4/23/2007
Bowel Disease, Nerve Problems Linked

Crohn's, colitis sufferers at high risk for carpal tunnel, other woes, study finds

1/4/2007
Health Tip: Treating Colic

Suggestions to soothe your fussy baby

7/24/2006
Health Tip: Signs of Colic

Crying could also mean that your baby is sick

11/7/2005
Special Diet Curbs Colic

Banning wheat, milk, eggs, soy, nuts and fish lessened crying time for breast-fed infants

4/28/2005
Health Tip: Is Your Baby Colicky?

Relief for baby and parents

4/5/2004
Taste Preferences Form Early

By 3 months, babies settle for flavors that can last a lifetime

9/22/2003
Colic Not Uncommon

Fortunately, problem usually disappears

1/22/2003
Help Prevent Colic Attacks

Tips to ward it off

12/9/2002
Study: Colic Is Normal for Babies

Finds it usually resolves in three months, and Mom does OK

8/6/2001
Mom's Smoking Stirs Up A Big Fuss

Tobacco use in pregnancy doubles colic risk