WHAT IS COLIC?
Colic is the term used to describe when a baby cries a lot, and there is no apparent cause. In general, this is a common issue which goes away over time.
DOES MY BABY HAVE COLIC?
While it is normal for babies to cry, colic refers to a much higher frequency of crying than is typical. As a general rule of thumb, your baby may have colic if the crying is more than three hours a day, for three days a week. And that this frequency of crying continues for more than one week.
Other signs to look out for include; if it is hard to settle your baby down; if the baby clenches its fists when crying; if they arch their back or bring their knees up to the stomach; if their stomach rumbles; and if they go red in the face.
Colic can start just a few weeks after birth but usually goes away after six months.
WHAT TO DO IF MY BABY HAS COLIC
While colic does not typically mean that you need to visit a doctor, you might like to speak to a medical professional such as a paediatrician for reassurance.
Some steps that may help a baby with colic include: ensuring that the baby is upright during feeding can help reduce swallowed air; wind your baby after feeding; cuddle your baby when they cry; rock your baby gently over the shoulder, or in a crib; bath the baby in warm water; distract the baby with some background noise.
WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR
As described above, colic is a common condition which normally subsides after the baby is six months old. However, you might like to seek medical advice for reassurance, none of the measures you are taking to address the colic seem to be working; you are worried about your baby; your baby is still exhibiting signs of colic after they are four months old; or if you are finding it hard to deal with your baby’s colic symptoms.
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