Colic Facts

Find out how to soothe your baby -- and yourself -- when he has colic.

What Is Colic?

What could cause a perfectly healthy baby to have seemingly violent crying spells? If your baby frequently goes through a fussy period where she screams and cries -- and there's nothing you can do to comfort her -- she may be suffering from colic. Other signs that differentiate colic from ordinary crying include the baby's stomach being enlarged, or the baby passing more gas than usual or extending or pulling up his legs.

If your baby is showing signs of colic, you're not alone. About one in five babies between 2 weeks and 3 months old go through these crying spurts. Colic is not a physical disorder or disease; it simply refers to 3 or more hours a day of continued crying without a visible explanation (such as hunger or a wet diaper).

A baby with colic will often go through his crying spells between 6:00 p.m. and midnight. Of course, that's just when you as a parent are also feeling worn out. While the incessant screaming might make you want to pull your hair out, just remember that this phase won't last forever. Colic usually peaks around 6 weeks and then slowly dissipates -- disappearing by about 3 months of age.

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