Colic Facts

What Causes Colic?

No one knows for sure exactly what causes colic. In fact, the definition of colic says that there are no visible signs of why the baby is crying. But there are several common theories about what may cause these crying spells:

  • Overstimulation: Some experts believe that babies between 2 weeks and 3 months of age cry inconsolably when their bodies are unable to handle all the stimulation around them. This would explain why colic often appears toward the end of the day. After being awake for hours trying to absorb all the sights, sounds, and smells of the world, their bodies have reached their limit. Rather than falling asleep when they're worn out, some babies just cry.
  • Gas: Some babies suffer from enlarged stomachs or increased gas during their crying spells, leaving some experts to believe that it's gas pain causing the screaming. Excessive gas can be caused by lactose intolerance, an allergy to milk, or gas-producing foods passed through the breast milk, such as caffeine, nuts, or some vegetables.
  • Conveyed anxiety: It's not unusual for a new mom to be stressed out and anxious by the end of the day. Some experts believe that it's the anxiety of a mother that rubs off on her baby and causes the baby to be "stressed out" too -- resulting in crying spells.

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