Colic 101: What It Is and What to Do

What Effects Does Colic Have on My Baby and Family?

Although it's not harmful in itself, colic can still take its toll. For starters, it puts terrible pressure on new parents. "It sent my husband and me into therapy," confesses Catherine McManus, a mom from Oviedo, Florida. Excessive crying is also associated with giving up breastfeeding, overmedication of babies, postpartum depression, and shaken-baby syndrome.

Colic is nerve-racking, but it's helpful to remember that it's also temporary. Your child might have an underlying medical condition (such as reflux, allergies, a hernia, or a urinary tract infection) that remains to be diagnosed -- a strong possibility if he's still crying inconsolably after four months. But barring that, the good news is that there's probably nothing wrong with your baby. The bad news is there's not much else to do but wait it out and try some calming tactics.

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