Colic is an issue that many parents face when they have babies. It's a condition that revolves around the crying habits of your baby. Around 2 in 5 babies will have colic, so it's not that rare. If you want to know what this condition is, how long it lasts, and if there are treatments, then read this guide.
What is colic?
All newborn babies are prone to crying. Some cry more than others, but you'll rarely have a baby who won't cry at all. Generally speaking, your baby will cry most during its first 3 months of being alive. So, if your baby experiences a few crying episodes within this time, then it's usually nothing to be concerned about.
However, colic is a condition where your infant will cry a lot more frequently than usual. If they cry for longer than 3 hours per day, for more than 3 days a week - and this happens for more than 1 week - then they have colic.
The good news is that colic doesn't indicate any underlying health problems. In fact, most babies with it are perfectly healthy and follow good feeding habits.
When does colic start & how long does it last?
Colic tends to start when your baby is anywhere between 3 and 6 weeks old. So, it's something to look out for in the very early stages of their development.
Thankfully, it won't go on for too long. Most babies suffering from colic will grow out of it by the time they're 4 months old.
In fact, an excellent way to know if your baby is suffering from underlying health issues is if they continue these crying habits after 4 months. Here, it may indicate that they don't have colic, and there's another health problem that's causing all these tears.
What are the key symptoms?
Naturally, the main symptoms of colic are excessive crying and restlessness. As mentioned earlier, your baby will cry for over 3 hours a day, at least 3 times a week, for more than a week. So, it's a good idea to track your baby's crying habits. Therefore, you understand if they're just crying at a standard rate or if they have colic.
Aside from this, there are a few other signs that indicate colic in an infant. So, be on the lookout for these:
You can't seem to get your baby to stop crying during one of their outbursts
Your baby always goes very red in their face
You notice your baby has a lot more wind than usual
Your baby keeps clenching their fists
As we touched upon before, babies with colic should be healthy. They follow all the regular habits of babies that don't have colic. This means they eat properly, have no trouble suckling, and they pass regular stools. If your child isn't eating, can't keep down their food, or has very loose stools, then it shows they have a health problem - not colic.
What treatments are available?
You can treat colic at home without the help of your doctor. Holding your baby and trying to soothe them is a good place to start. It won't always work, but continually doing this may gradually have an effect and help calm your baby down.
Wind your baby after meals to prevent a build-up of gas as well. Commonly, infants with colic are very gassy, which causes a lot of crying episodes. Rocking your baby or bathing them in warm water are other ways you can help them relax and ward off the crying.
Colic: A summary for parents
The bottom line is that you shouldn't be too afraid about colic. A lot of babies suffer from this condition, but it tends to subside after 3-4 months. If you give your baby anti-colic drops like Infacol, then you help calm all the main symptoms.
Remember, if your infant shows other health issues alongside the typical colic symptoms, then they might not have this condition. Babies with colic are healthy, so it will indicate another problem - which means you should see a doctor.