Infant colic

What is infantile colic?

The term ‘colic’ in babies refers to frequent and excessive crying with no obvious related symptoms, in children who appear to be otherwise healthy. Infantile colic is a condition which commonly occurs in newborns and young babies.

What are the symptoms of infantile colic?

The signs of colic are generally as follows, although they may vary and your child may not show all of these symptoms:

  • Prolonged bouts of crying
  • Fist clenching
  • Arching of the back while crying, or your baby drawing their knees up to their chest as they cry
  • Intense bouts of crying
  • Crying in the late afternoon/evening, usually for several hours

What are the causes of infantile colic?

It has been suggested that colic may occur due to immaturity of the digestive system, which causes discomfort and pain in the abdomen, or it may occur as a result of trapped wind. However, the exact causes remain unknown.

What is the treatment for infantile colic?

There is no specific treatment for inflantile colic, and it is also important to remember that your baby’s colic is not your fault. Colic can be stressful for parents, and it can help to remember that colic usually clears up before the age of 6 months old. Some tips that can be followed when your baby suffers from colic are:

  • Wrap them up in a blanket and gently rock them over your shoulder
  • Sit them up or hold them up as they feed, which will stop them from swallowing air
  • Walk around with them in your arms
  • Give them a gentle tummy massage
  • Help them to burp
  • Bathe them in warm water

If your baby’s colic is suspected to be related to an allergy or their diet, speak to your GP and follow their advice. If you are worried about colic it may help to speak to your health provider or health visitor, as while they may not be able to resolve your baby’s colic, they may be able to give you tips to manage.

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