Infant colic is definitely one of the facts of life that many parents have to learn to face. Your infant may or may not eventually develop colic. If, however, he does develop it, you need to know what to do about it. The first step to learning how to respond to a colicky infant is to understand what colic is. Here are some relevant facts about colic.

Fact #1: Some babies have it while others don’t.

The figures seem to differ depending on the statistical source of information. One estimate puts the number of colicky babies to more or less 20%. It is generally accepted though that colic strikes only at a particular age. It often begins when a baby is a few weeks old. It would be quite uncommon though for infant colic to continue beyond three or four months.

You would know if your baby has colic if he cries a lot for no clear reason. The crying can extend beyond three hours and repeated in different days of the week. Colicky babies usually cannot be comforted easily.

Fact #2: The causes are unknown.

The definite causes of infant colic are not known. There are however some theories about colic that are currently being studied. Gastrointestinal discomfort for example is one enduring theory. This in turn may be caused by a variety of possible factors such as lactose intolerance or proneness to stomach gas.

It has also been suggested that a mother’s anxiety or tension in the home environment may have a role in baby colic.

Fact #3: You should see a doctor.

You should still see your infant’s pediatrician even if you suspect that your baby has a case of infant colic. This is to ensure that there are no other underlying medical factors that may be causing the excessive crying and difficult behavior. A condition that goes unnoticed could lead to serious consequences when not brought to the doctor’s attention.

Fact #4: There are ways to relieve colic.

The doctor may or may not recommend medication to help relieve colic symptoms. At the most, your baby may be prescribed medicine to relieve stomach gas. In most cases, a pediatrician may urge other non-medical solutions for colic.

Other possible solutions may include possibly changing the infant’s milk to a soy based formula. You may also be asked to try various parental behavior and stimuli modifications. You may, for example, have to change the way you carry or wrap your infant. A lukewarm bath, soothing music, rocking, massage and other soothing methods may also be tried.

Factor #5: Your response plays an important role.

For some parents, nothing that they do may effectively stop Infant colic when it strikes. It is a definite fact however that you will not improve the situation by losing your patience and getting angry with your baby. If environmental tension is a real factor in baby colic, you may even be making things worse. Keep cool and collected and call for help when you can’t take the crying anymore.

Colic Tip #1

Be Patient: Colic problems will lessen with age, so realize that things will get better in the future. In the mean time, try to stay calm, reassuring and loving. The best thing for your child is a well-rested parent.


Colic Tip #2

Feed Less But More Often: Whether breast feeding or bottle feeding, try feeding a baby with colic half as much as usual and twice as often. Little tummies can’t handle getting too much too fast and the breakdown of lactose can cause an increase in intestinal gas.


Colic Tip #3

Enlist Help: One if the best things you can do if you have a colicky baby is to give yourself a break and get away from it all. Get your spouse, parents, aunts, uncles or even a babysitter to lend a hand for a while so you can rest and recharge your batteries.