Symptoms and Signs of Colic in Babies

How to Know When Your Baby has Colic?


An unhappy and crying baby who is otherwise healthy might have colic, but when is crying normal and when is it colic? And if you’re a new mom with a fussy newborn, how can you tell the difference?

One way to determine if it may be colic-associated crying is to take note if your infant’s crying matches the “rule of threes:” when an otherwise healthy baby cries excessively, is unusually fussy, or displays signs of marked discomfort for three or more hours a day, three or more days a week, for three or more weeks, your infant is likely to have colic.

Causes of Colic

Every cause of colic is not fully understood, but it is known that temporary lactose intolerance (TLI) accounts for many cases. TLI simply means that your baby has trouble digesting the lactose contained in milk—breast or formula. Lactase is an enzyme that helps break down the sugars (lactose) found in milk. Our bodies naturally produce lactase, but sometimes not enough (especially when little tummies are developing). When there isn’t enough lactase being produced the lactose doesn’t get digested properly, which can cause gas, bloating and discomfort.

In infants, this discomfort can cause inconsolable and excessive crying, groaning, fussiness and other signs of discomfort that are typically the recognizable symptoms of colic.

Infant colic can occur as early as baby’s third week and last for about 3 or 4 months. Most infants will outgrow colic eventually, but there are some ways to try and soothe your infant (including trying Colief Infant Digestive Aid first) to help during those first few months.

Signs of Colic

Here are some signs of colic to look for in your fussy infant. If you have any concerns regarding your infant’s health, you should consult your healthcare professional.

Excessive Crying:
infant crying

  • For no obvious reason, such as a being hungry, needing a diaper change or being too hot or too cold
  • Occurs for more than three hours a day, three times a week and for more than three weeks
  • Occurs most often at a predictable time each day, such as the late afternoon/evening, or after feedings

Along with the excessive crying, your little one may:

  • Have a flushed face
  • Clench his/her fists and arch the back in distress
  • Be inconsolable
  • Experience gassiness and overall tummy discomfort

Trying to soothe your colicky baby is challenging, but understanding some of the possible causes may help in your journey to help bring relief and comfort to your newborn. If the cause is temporary lactose intolerance, which can cause tummy discomfort, gassiness and bloating, adding Colief Infant Digestive Aid to infant formula or breast milk before each feeding may help break down the lactose in milk making it easier for your infant to digest.

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