Is It Colic?
All babies cry. But if your child is inconsolable for long stretches, he may have colic. How can you tell for sure? According to Barry Lester, PhD, author of Why Is My Baby Crying? (HarperCollins), babies with colic exhibit these symptoms: cries that are louder and higher-pitched than normal cries; signs of physical pain when they fuss, like pulling their legs up, clenching their fists, or going red in the face; and sometimes (but not always) following the Rule of Three -- crying three hours a day, three days a week, for three consecutive weeks.
The same techniques that soothe mildly fussy babies can chill out a colicky kid too. But "you just may have to do more of them, and you may have to do them longer with a colicky baby," says Lester. Develop a rotation of greatest hits, alternating soothing strategies such as swaddling, singing, and shushing until you find something that works. Also, don't hesitate to talk to your pediatrician if your baby's crying is hard to handle or it interferes with normal life, or if it just seems unusually intense. And just remember: Colic usually ends at 3 months.