Baby colic occurs with typical signs. Find out how to recognise and alleviate it with the tips and advice from the experts at Chicco’s Baby Research Center.
Baby colic is part of baby’s first months, which despite being harmless in terms of health can put a real strain on mum and dad’s patience.
Screaming and crying that won’t stop
Does your baby cry desperately for hours for no apparent reason? Don’t panic. In most cases it’s colic, typical abdominal pain that affects babies from the first weeks until 3–4 months.
Is it really colic?
Colic in milk-fed babies is accompanied by quite typical signs. The first is definitely crying: sudden, unstoppable and lasting for hours. Then there’s the distress of the baby, a screwed up face, arched back and legs bending towards the abdomen. Lastly, there’s tympanites and flatulence. Though it may repeat a number of times a day, it’s more common in the evening.
What causes it?
Baby colic is a physical phenomenon linked to growth that goes away on its own after the fourth month. Even though there isn’t unanimous agreement on the causes, possible culprits include a build-up of gas in the intestine because too much air is ingested when feeding or a still immature nervous system that amplifies every little sensory stimulus.
Baby colic: what can you do?
If your baby suffers from colic, try to stay calm and maintain a healthy dose of patience. Baby colic is frustrating to say the least, but there are some remedies that help to alleviate it. One is a massage around the belly button, alleviating the spasm and helping air to pass. Another is to lay your baby on their tummy, resting on your legs or forearm with a cloth or hot water bottle under their tummy. Bathing your baby can be helpful: it relaxes them and is an opportunity for play and distraction at the same time. Last but not least, lots of cuddles: cradling your baby and whispering soothing words to them is a great way of reassuring them.