What is colic?

Prolonged crying in babies, when no other cause for the crying can be found, is often referred to as colic. Colic is very common and can affect many babies. It often starts when your baby is a few weeks of age and can last until your baby is around 6 month and it can be difficult to manage. 

You might be able to tell if your baby has colic, if they:

  • Cry more often in the afternoon or evening
  • Cry for more than 3 hours per day
  • Are difficult to soothe and settle
  • Go very red when they’re crying
  • Clench their fists
  • Bring their knees up towards their stomachs
  • Be very difficult to wind

Trying to settle a baby with colic can be hard to manage, here are several things you can try to comfort them:

  • Try offering a feed in an upright position
  • If your baby is bottle fed, try pace feeding as this will allow them to drink more slowly and take regular breaks 
  • Try offering a dummy as a distraction (if breastfeeding please wait until breast-feeding is established before offering a dummy)
  • Offer skin to skin contact
  • Try changing your baby’s position or pick them up for a cuddle
  • Talk, sing or play, but be careful not to overstimulate them
  • Play some soothing background noise such as white noise
  • Move to a darker quieter environment
  • Try using a sling but remember to follow the TICKS checklist (Tight, In view at all times, Close enough to kiss, Keep chin off chest and back Supported)
  • Try gently rocking or swaying with your baby
  • Go for a walk outside with your baby in their pram or give them a warm bath
  • Try putting baby down and see if your baby can settle themselves 

If you are finding it difficult to manage your baby’s symptoms, please do not hesitate to ask for help from your health visitor.

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