Colic – what it is, the signs and how to ease your baby’s symptoms

Those first few weeks of learning your baby’s cries and needs can very much be a guessing game. You run through a virtual list of probable crying causes and sometimes, despite your best efforts, your little one just isn’t happy. One of the causes of baby distress can be colic – a fairly common condition that, while not serious, can be upsetting for you and your bub. Here’s what you need to know about colic, including the causes and the remedies. 

What is colic?

Babies spend a huge amount of time drinking. Drinking means swallowing, which in turn means they are taking in tiny air bubbles, that may become trapped and cause them tummy discomfort and pressure. While there has been extensive medical research, the cause of colic isn’t definitively known, but this build up of wind may be a cause. Known as infant colic, or infant wind, it’s an issue that usually only impacts a baby in their first three to four months of life.

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Signs of colic

  • Uncontrollable crying – which can last for hours, for no apparent reason (nappy is clean, baby is fed, warm, not overtired or suffering from a temperature).
  • Usually starts in the late afternoon and evening.
  • Your baby cries out in pain.
  • They draw their knees up to their chest.
  • Their tummy appears swollen.
  • Cramping.
  • Baby is passing more wind that usual.

It’s important to note that the following symptoms are not associated with colic: diarrhoea, vomiting or a raised temperature. If your baby has symptoms like these, you should seek further medical advice.

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How to ease colic symptoms

You can try some tried and true methods of soothing an upset baby:

  • Rock or pat your baby gently.
  • Don’t try too hard to burp them, it may upset your baby even more.
  • Try a warm bath and gentle massage.


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