Although it's quite common, colic can be very distressing for both you and your baby. The good news is that it won't last forever and they will be able to feed and gain weight normally. There's no definite cause for colic but thankfully there are some things you can do to help your baby.
How do I know if my baby has colic?
You'll recognise colic by a flushed face, clenched fists, and legs pulled up to the chest with 2 - 3 hour spells of loud crying, often 15 minutes after feeding. Colic problems can occur any time in the first few weeks after birth and as a rule, will usually disappear by the time your baby is 3 months old.
What causes colic?
The causes of colic are not fully understood, however there are a number of potential contributing factors. One is that your baby is swallowing too much air without burping causing their tummy to fill and stretch with wind which is quite painful. Another is that your baby's bowels are working too hard to remove waste from the body and are starting to cramp up.
What can I do to help my colicky baby?
It is comforting to know that colicky babies do not have any lasting problems once the colic stops, but it can be very hard to listen to the long periods of crying every day. Here are some practical tips to help comfort your crying baby:
• Give your baby a nice warm bath and then swaddle them in a warm blanket.
• Gently massage your baby's tummy in a clockwise direction.
• Ask your doctor to show you different winding techniques.
• Move your baby's legs in a cycling motion.
• Rock your baby back and forth or pop them in the car for a drive - the movement can help settle them.
If you have any worries about your baby's health, it's always best to talk to your doctor.