Here’s how to stop colicky babies from wailing and going utterly red in the face If your baby is younger than four months old and cries for more than three hours in a row on three or more days a week for at least three weeks, chances are he is colicky.
Colic, as applied to a baby under four months of age, describes a crying spell when your baby’s face becomes very red and both legs are drawn up to their stomach as if they’re in great pain. This crying spell usually comes in the early evening, can reach screaming pitch and last from one to three hours. It doesn’t usually respond to soothing techniques that work at other times and for parents it can be difficult to endure.
The cause of this spasmodic crying isn’t known. It is at its worst up to three months of age but disappears by four months. Recent research has failed to confirm that colic is caused by pain, even though it looks as if your baby is in pain. As your baby is contented during the rest of the day, it means that this crying bout isn’t related to a serious physical problem. Colicky babies are usually healthy and thriving.
Watch the signs
While babies normally cry when they’re wet or hungry or frightened or tired, a baby with colic cries inconsolably and excessively, often at the same time of the day, frequently in the late afternoon or early evening. If your baby has colic, his belly may look enlarged. You may notice that he alternately extends or pulls up his legs and passes gas as he cries. Your baby cries no matter what you do to calm them, becoming redfaced and drawing their legs up. Other symptoms include frowning, grimacing, long screaming fits, and loud tummy rumblings, while passing wind or faeces (poo) around the time the crying stops.
See the doc
It is recommended to see your doctor as soon as possible if you find you cannot cope with the nightly crying sessions. Colic tends to peak around six weeks, improves significantly between three and four months. By five months, your baby should be over it. Your doctor will also advise you on how to tackle the problem.