- Mother smoking during pregnancy or after birth
- Sensitive temperament
- Loud crying that may last for several hours
- Inability to be consoled
- Turning red from crying
- Pulling arms and legs toward body and then stretching limbs out
- Passing gas or burping due to swallowing air while crying
- Allergic reactions or hypersensitivity to certain formulas, lactose intolerance, or gas
- Feeding problems
- Problems with sleep cycles or processing things in the environment
- Illness such as an ear infection
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Blockage of the intestinal tract
- Is your baby eating well?
- Is your baby producing 5 to 8 very wet diapers each day?
- Is your baby producing stool normally?
- Is your baby having colic-free periods?
- Does your baby have a fever?
Support for Baby
- If breastfed, consider making changes to the mother's diet. This may include avoiding cow's milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, and fish.
- If bottle-fed, consider using a whey hydrolysate formula. Make sure to warm the formula before giving it to your baby.
- Bottle feedings may need to be slowed down. Try using a nipple with a smaller hole.
- Burp your baby well after feeding.
- Feed your baby in a more upright position. This position will keep gas in your baby's stomach. Gas in the stomach is more easily burped up.
- Fennel extract
- Herbal combination of chamomile, fennel, vervain, licorice, and balm mint
- Friendly bacteria known as probiotics—talk to your doctor about which probiotic may be right for your child
- Take your baby for a walk or for a ride in the car. Try a baby safe swing.
- Position your baby on the tummy, across your lap. Gently rub your baby's back.
- Consider learning baby massage.
- Swaddle your baby in a soft blanket.
- Rock your baby in a rocking chair or in your arms. Hold your baby close and bounce or walk gently.
- Bathe your baby in warm water.
- Let your baby use a pacifier.
- Make sure your baby isn't too warm or cold.
- Try skin-to-skin contact.
Support for Parents
- Taking some time to distract yourself from the intensity of the crying. Place your baby in a safe crib and go to a nearby room to watch television or listen to music.
- Taking a break. Ask your family members, friends, or a sitter to help care for your baby.
Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics http://www.healthychildren.org
Nemours Kid's Health http://www.kidshealth.org
About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca
Caring for Kids—Canadian Paediatric Society http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca
Colic. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/colic.html. Updated July 2013. Accessed February 17, 2014.
Colic. American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/crying-colic/Pages/Colic.aspx. Updated October 31, 2013. Accessed February 17, 2014.
Infantile colic. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated February 14, 2014. Accessed February 17, 2014.
5/14/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Aviner S, Berkovitch M, et al. Use of a homeopathic preparation for "infantile colic" and an apparent life-threatening event. Pediatrics. 2010;125(2):e318-323.
8/23/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Savino F, Cordisco L, et al. Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17 938 in infantile colic: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Pediatrics. 2010;126(3):e526-e533.
4/7/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Indrio F, Di Mauro A, et al. Prophylactic use of a probiotic in the prevention of colic, regurgitation, and functional constipation: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Pediatr. 2014;168(3):228-233.
- Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD
- Review Date: 01/2015 -
- Update Date: 05/05/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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