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Colic

'Colicky' is the word used to describe babies that cry inconsolably despite the fact they are otherwise completely healthy.

Colic is a very common problem in young babies and signs usually start when they are between two and four weeks old. Babies with colic cry more often than other babies and often cannot be soothed. Their health is completely fine and they generally feed well - the only problem is their excessive crying. Around one in five parents have colicky babies and usually the crying eases when the baby is about four months. By this time they cry just as much as any other four month old.

There are certain characteristics to look out for if you suspect your baby has colic:

Bullet Frequent phases of inconsolable crying
Bullet Crying most often in the late afternoon/evening
Bullet Pulling legs up to tummy and arching back when crying.

Most of the time babies with colic cry for no reason. However, sometimes it may help to feed or wind them. It can be upsetting seeing your baby crying so much but it is important to remember that you have done nothing wrong and the colicky phase won't last for too long. If you find yourself getting angry or frustrated when trying to soothe your baby just take a break and calm yourself down.

Although colic usually means there is nothing wrong with your baby health-wise, you should still go to see your GP for further advice.

September 2012

Colic and Breastfeeding
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