Health Resources

Infant Colic

Signs & Symptoms
  • Excessive crying in infants
  • Stomach rumbling and belching
  • Varying episodes of fussiness to intense crying, often late in the afternoons or evenings
About the condition

Colic is characterised by unexplained, excessive crying in infants. It typically begins at two to four weeks of age and lasts through three to four months.

Consult a healthcare professional if

  • The infant appears to be in pain or unwell
  • There is constant crying for more than three hours
  • An infant younger than six months develops a temperature over 37ºC 
Diagnosis and Treatment Options

Comforting a crying infant may involve gentle, soothing motions such as rocking, using a wind-up swing or carrying the infant in a front-pack.

Care tips
  • Burp infants after each ounce of formula or every five minutes during breastfeeding. Ensure infants are held during feeding and allow at least 20 minutes per feeding.
  • Avoid feeding infants at every sign of distress; maintain at least a two-hour interval between feedings.
  • Check for discomfort due to cramped positioning, temperature, soiled diapers or a need for cuddling.
  • For gas discomfort, hold the infant securely and gently massage the lower stomach. Use a low-set heating pad or a warm water bottle with caution to avoid burns.
  • Limit daytime sleep to three hours at a time.
  • If gentle motion doesn't soothe the infant within 20 minutes, it may be necessary to let the infant cry themselves to sleep.
  • Seek support from family, friends or a babysitter for childcare and household tasks, and take breaks to manage stress.
  • Follow up with healthcare providers as recommended.
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