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Home > Events & Health Information > Diseases & Conditions > Digestive Conditions > Infant Colic

Infant Colic


 



Signs & Symptoms

  • Excessive crying in young infants
  • Rumbling in the stomach and belching
  • The attacks range from fussiness to agonizing screams and usually occur late in the afternoons or in the evening.

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About the condition

Colic is unexplained excessive crying in young infants. There is a great deal of rumbling in the stomach and belching. In between the crying spells, the baby acts fine. Crying begins at 2 to 4 weeks and lasts through 3 to 4 months.


See a doctor if

  1. Your baby seems to be in pain or act sick.
  2. Your baby has been crying constantly for more than 3 hours.
  3. Your baby develops a temperature over 37ºC if he or she is less than 6 months old.

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Diagnosis and Treatment Options

When trying to comfort a crying baby, use soothing gentle motions such as rocking in a rocking chair or cradle, putting the baby in a wind-up swing, or carrying the baby in a front-pack.

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Care tips

  1. Burp your baby after each ounce of formula. If you are breast feeding, burp your baby every 5 minutes. Always hold your baby while feeding and allow at least 20 minutes for feeding.
  2. Do not feed your baby every time he or she cries. Wait at least 2 hours between feedings. Check to see if the baby was in a cramped position, is too hot or cold, has a soiled diaper or an open diaper pin, or needs to be cuddled.
  3. When trying to comfort a crying baby, use soothing gentle motions such as rocking in a rocking chair or cradle, putting the baby in a wind-up swing, or carrying the baby in a front-pack.
  4. When your baby is having an attack of gas, hold him or her securely and gently massage the lower part of the stomach. You may also apply a heating pad that is set on low or a warm water bottle to the stomach. Be very careful not to burn the baby. Do not lay the baby on the heating pad.
  5. Try not to let your baby sleep more than 3 hours at a time during the day.
  6. If your baby is still crying after more than 20 minutes of gentle motion, let the baby cry himself or herself to sleep.
  7. Ask your spouse, a friend, or a relative for help with child care and household chores. Ask someone to care for the baby or hire a babysitter so that you have a chance to get out of the house, even if it is only for an hour or two to relieve the stress cumulated by the unexplained excessive crying by the baby.
  8. Keep follow-up appointment if applicable (?).

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