Caring for a baby is one of the most rewarding experiences, but it can also be overwhelming.

One common condition that many parents worry about is colic.

Colic is a stomach discomfort in babies that can cause excessive crying, and it’s important to recognise the signs and know how to treat it.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to recognise and manage colic in your baby, so you can help them feel better and ease your own mind.

Colic affects up to 20% of infants worldwide, and while the exact cause isn’t known, the symptoms are all too familiar: inconsolable crying for long periods of time during the day or night.

It’s normal for babies to cry, but if your baby cries excessively and nothing seems to comfort them, then they may have colic.

What Is Colic?

Colic is a common and distressing condition for parents of newborns. It’s characterized by recurrent episodes of intense and inconsolable crying in an otherwise healthy baby that can last several hours a day.

The cause of colic isn’t known, but it’s thought to be linked to immature digestion, air bubbles in the stomach, or sensitivity to certain foods in breast milk or formula.

Caring for a baby with colic can be extremely challenging and create significant parental stress. It may require some lifestyle changes like keeping the environment as calming and quiet as possible, swaddling the baby, or taking him/her out for a ride in the car.

Some parents find it helpful to talk to their pediatrician about techniques they can use to help soothe their baby during fits of crying.

It’s also important for parents of babies suffering from colic to take time for themselves when possible. This could include accepting offers of help from family and friends, getting outside for some fresh air and exercise, or simply taking a few moments away from the house every day.

Taking care of yourself is key when it comes to providing care for your little one with colic.

Common Symptoms Of Colic

Colic can be recognized by excessive crying, which is often uncontrollable and lasts for hours at a time.

It can also be accompanied by bouts of irritability, which may make it difficult for parents to calm their baby.

Parents should be aware of these signs and seek medical advice if their baby’s crying persists.

Treating colic requires understanding and patience, and the right medical advice can help parents to find the best solution for their baby.

Excessive Crying

When your little one starts screaming and won’t seem to stop, it can be a sign of colic. Excessive crying is one of the most common symptoms of colic, as babies with this condition will usually cry for more than three hours a day, multiple days in a row.

To try and soothe your baby and help them sleep better, look into some simple soothing techniques such as rocking or swaddling them. Additionally, keeping track of their sleep patterns can be helpful too–you may notice that they become fussier in the afternoon or evening.

When creating a routine for your baby’s sleeping habits, make sure to keep it consistent and give yourself plenty of time for rest as well!

Bouts Of Irritability

In addition to excessive crying, bouts of irritability are another common symptom of colic.

Babies with this condition may become easily frustrated and may be difficult to soothe.

If your little one is displaying signs of irritability, it’s important to remain calm and use soothing techniques like rocking or swaddling.

You could also try tracking their sleep patterns to see if there might be a pattern of when they become fussier.

By creating a consistent routine and giving yourself plenty of time for rest, you can help minimize the amount of frustration your baby experiences.

With patience, love, and understanding, you can help make these challenging times easier for both you and your baby.

Common Causes Of Colic

Colic in babies can be an incredibly stressful experience for both parents and their little one. It’s important to recognize the common causes of colic, so parents can better understand how to treat it.

One of the most common causes of colic is a disruption in the baby’s sleep patterns. When babies don’t get enough quality sleep, they are more likely to become fussy and irritable, which can lead to bouts of colic. Sleep deprivation can also increase stress levels in infants, making them even more prone to colic.

In addition to disrupted sleep patterns, other potential causes of colic include feeding problems, gas buildup, reflux or food allergies. If any of these are suspected as a potential cause of your baby’s colic episodes, it’s important to consult with your pediatrician or healthcare provider for guidance on diagnosis and treatment.

Tips For Baby Colic:

  • Monitor changes in your baby’s sleep patterns and stress levels closely
  • Make sure your baby’s diet is balanced and appropriate for their age
  • Ask your healthcare provider about any signs or symptoms that may indicate a problem with gas buildup, reflux or food allergies
  • Try different techniques such as infant massage, rocking, or swaddling to soothe your baby

Diagnosing Colic

  1. Symptoms of colic can include excessive crying, irritability, and fussiness.
  2. To diagnose colic, a doctor may use physical exams, medical history, and other tests.
  3. Diagnostic tests may include imaging tests, blood tests, and stool tests.
  4. Parents of babies with colic should consult with their doctor to determine the best treatment plan.


If your baby is constantly crying and nothing seems to soothe them, it could be a sign of colic. Colic is an often misunderstood condition that can cause babies to cry for hours at a time. Diagnosing colic involves recognizing certain symptoms and it’s important to know what those are.

To start with, colicky babies will cry more than 3 hours a day and this can happen multiple days in a row. They’ll often become very agitated when they do cry and their little faces may turn red or purple. Additionally, their legs may also be pulled up towards their stomach in an effort to relieve the discomfort they’re feeling.

There are some things you can do to help reduce your baby’s distress if they’re suffering from colic. Some soothing techniques like rocking or swaddling them can help calm them down while diet changes such as switching to hypoallergenic formula might provide relief as well. You should also try to keep your baby upright after eating and gently massage their stomachs in a clockwise motion which might help move gas bubbles through their digestive tract.

It’s important that parents don’t panic if they suspect their baby has colic since it is a common condition for infants and usually resolves itself within 12 weeks of age. If you’re concerned about your baby’s extended bouts of crying, consult with your pediatrician for further advice on how to best comfort them during this difficult time.

Diagnostic Tests

Once you’ve identified the signs of colic, it’s important to consult with your pediatrician to ensure that your little one is getting the best treatment available.

Depending on the severity of their symptoms, they might recommend diagnostic tests such as breath holding or gastroesophageal reflux testing.

Breath holding tests measure how long a baby can hold their breath which helps determine if there are any underlying respiratory issues causing their discomfort. Gastroesophageal reflux testing assesses whether or not an infant is producing too much acid in their stomach which can cause pain and distress.

Both of these tests can be done quickly and don’t require any invasive procedures.

As a parent, it’s natural to want to do everything possible to make sure your baby is healthy and happy.

Knowing what signs to look for as well as understanding the different diagnostic tests that may be recommended by your doctor can help you find relief for your little one sooner rather than later.

Taking the time to get to know the causes and treatments of colic will help ensure that you have all the necessary information needed to make informed decisions about how best to support them during this difficult time.

Treatments For Colic

Caring for a colicky baby can be an exhausting experience for any parent. Fortunately, there are treatments available to help soothe your little one and bring some relief to both of you.

Gentle soothing and swaddling techniques are among the most effective ways to help manage colic. Gentle soothing can include anything that helps calm your infant, such as singing lullabies, giving gentle massages, or playing calming music. These activities can help your baby relax and reduce their irritability.

Additionally, swaddling is a great technique for babies with colic as it mimics the feeling of being in the womb and provides a sense of security. Wrapping your infant in a soft blanket can be a great way to provide comfort and relaxation.

The key is to find what works best for both you and your baby. With patience and understanding, it’s possible to create a soothing environment that will help relieve the symptoms of colic. Experiencing this special bond with your child during these moments is something that will stay with both of you forever.

Home Remedies For Colic

The sound of a baby crying can be heartbreaking. And when that sound lasts for hours on end, it can be even more distressing. Parents want to know how to deal with colic, and thankfully there are home remedies that can provide relief for both the baby and their caregivers.

Here are four things you can do at home to help ease your baby’s discomfort:

  1. Baby Massage: A gentle massage is an effective way to soothe a fussy baby. The technique is simple: use your fingertips in circular motions over your baby’s belly, chest, arms, legs and back.
  2. White Noise: Create a calming environment around your infant by playing music or white noise in the background. Low-volume lullabies or ocean sounds have been shown to have a positive effect on babies suffering from colic.
  3. Swaddle: Swaddling blankets can help keep your little one warm while providing extra comfort and security during difficult times of distress. Firmly wrap them up while they’re in their crib or bassinet; this sends a signal that it’s time for sleep and helps make them feel safe and secure.

Caring for an infant with colic can be draining but there are ways to provide comfort without having to resort to medication or other medical treatments right away. With patience and understanding, parents can find solace in knowing that these simple techniques may just be enough to help soothe their little one’s cries and restore some peace of mind for everyone involved.

When To See A Doctor For Colic

Parents with a colicky baby are often filled with anxiety and worry. It’s normal to be concerned, but it’s important to know when to seek medical help.

If your baby is displaying any of the symptoms of colic or if the excessive crying lasts more than three hours a day, three days a week for at least three weeks, it’s time to see a doctor.

The prolonged crying associated with colic can lead to sleep disturbances, not just for the baby but for the parents too. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that if you’re feeling overwhelmed by lack of sleep and anxiety, there are things you can do to take care of yourself so that you are better able to handle the situation.

Reach out to friends and family for support and ask them to watch your baby while you get a nap or just some time away from being a parent temporarily.

Seeking professional help from your doctor is always recommended in these situations so they can assess your baby’s health and offer advice on how to manage the situation. Be sure not to ignore any warning signs that may suggest something more serious than colic is going on such as poor weight gain, fever, constipation or vomiting as these could all indicate other underlying issues that need attention.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does Colic Typically Last?

Colic can be a stressful time for both baby and parents.

While it is hard to predict how long colic will last, typically it should resolve within 3-4 months.

Reducing stress in the home and ensuring your baby’s gut health are important ways to help reduce the symptoms of colic.

With proper management, you can help your baby find relief.

Are There Any Long-Term Effects Of Colic?

When it comes to colic, many parents worry about the long-term effects. Fortunately, the good news is that most babies outgrow their colic within 3 to 4 months, and there is no evidence that colic has any long-term impacts.

However, the sleep deprivation and impact on breastfeeding due to colic may take some time to recover from. To minimize the impact of colic on your baby’s sleep and feeding routine, it’s important that you seek appropriate medical attention for your baby and provide a supportive environment for them.

Are There Any Medicines That Can Be Used To Treat Colic?

Colic is a common condition that can affect babies and cause distress for parents.

When it comes to treatment, there are both medicinal and natural remedies available.

Medicines for colic can include antacids or medications to reduce gas, but these should only be used when prescribed by a pediatrician.

Natural remedies such as warm baths, white noise, gentle rocking, and swaddling can also help soothe your baby during bouts of colic.

Additionally, avoiding common causes of colic such as overfeeding or certain foods may help prevent flare-ups in the future.

Is Colic More Common In Boys Or Girls?

Colic can be an equal-opportunity offender, but studies suggest that boys may be more prone to developing the condition than girls.

Symptom differences between genders may be due to biological risk factors, such as hormonal imbalances or developmental differences.

It’s important for parents of both genders to be aware of colic and its potential signs, especially if you notice that your baby has increased fussiness, gas, and crying episodes.

Is It Normal For Colic To Cause A Baby To Be Inconsolable?

It is completely normal for a baby with colic to be inconsolable, and parents may find that no amount of soothing or environmental changes can help.

This inconsolability is one of the main signs that your baby might have colic.

If you are finding it difficult to soothe your little one, it is important to look into other common symptoms like crying for more than 3 hours per day and fussiness around the same times each day in order to determine if your baby has colic.

With the right treatment, your baby can be back to their happy self in no time.


Colic can be a difficult and stressful experience for parents, but with proper understanding and care, it doesn’t have to be.

Colic typically lasts 3-4 months, but can last up to 6 months. It’s not known to cause any long-term effects on the baby’s health.

While there are medicines that can be used to treat colic, it’s often best to just provide comfort and soothing measures.

There is no evidence that boys or girls are more likely to suffer from colic.

It is normal for babies with colic to be inconsolable at times. With patience and understanding, parents can help their baby through this period of discomfort until it passes.

About Author

Jaimie is a mother of two lovely children, aged 3 months and 3 years, who resides in the beautiful city of Brisbane. She cherishes spending quality time with her family and thoroughly enjoys the joys and challenges of motherhood. Jaimie's life revolves around her little ones, and she takes pride in being an involved and caring mom.