When Crying Means Colic
What’s the difference between a fussy baby and one who has colic? Think in terms of threes.
Updated July 2013
Colic is crying that lasts for more than three hours a day, at least three days per week, for more than three weeks. (And, colic almost always goes away by 3 months of age. It should go away by the time your baby is 6 months old.)
• Cry more than other babies, either in spurts or all the time
• Usually clench their fists, curl their legs, or seem to be in pain
• May turn bright red from crying
• May swallow a lot of air, increasing their discomfort
Soothe Your Baby By . . .
• Feeding him in an upright position
• Burping her often
• Limiting your intake of spicy foods, citrus, and caffeine if you’re nursing
• Trying different ways of holding, rocking, and swaddling
• Trying to use a pacifier
• Giving him a warm bath
• Gently rubbing her stomach
• Taking your baby for a walk in the stroller or a ride in the car seat
• Trying frequent small feedings (warmed to body temperature)
Call the Doctor If . . .
• Your baby’s normal fussy cry changes to one that indicates pain
• Your baby doesn’t gain weight
• Your baby has a fever
• You’re afraid you might take out your frustration on the baby
If your baby is colicky it’s not because of anything you’ve done, so don’t feel guilty. It doesn’t mean your baby is unhealthy.