Colic most often shows up when a baby is 2 or 3 weeks old (or two or three weeks after his due date if he’s a preemie).

Babies normally cry when they’re wet, hungry, frightened, or tired, but a baby with colic cries excessively, often at the same time of day (usually in the late afternoon or evening). If your baby is colicky, you may notice that his cries at this time are louder and higher pitched than his normal crying and that the episodes start and end suddenly.

Your colicky baby may also show signs of a gassy tummy. Gas doesn’t cause colic, but he might be extra gassy because a baby with colic often swallows air when he cries. You may notice that your colicky baby clenches his fingers, arches his back, becomes flushed, and alternately extends or pulls up his legs and passes gas as he cries. He may sometimes feel better after passing gas or having a bowel movement.

Colic tends to peak around 6 weeks, and then improves significantly between 3 and 4 months. By 4 months of age, 80 to 90 percent of infants are over colic. The remaining small percentage might take another month.

Yes, that’s a long tunnel. In the meantime, learn how to comfort your babyas best you can and ask for help when you need it. Caring for a colicky baby can be very stressful, and you need to take regular breaks to maintain your own well-being. Have your partner or a friend or relative take over while you go for a walk or let loose with a good cry yourself when you need to.

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