Colic means excessive crying in an infant 2 to 12 weeks of age who is otherwise healthy. It is a very common occurrence among infants, and the cause is unknown. Because many physical problems can cause excessive crying in an infant, the diagnosis of colic should be made only by a doctor.

Symptoms of Colic:

Colic usually begins by 2 to 3 weeks of age and may last 3 or 4 months. Colicky infants usually cry at least 3 hours a day. The crying may or may not occur at the same time each day, but usually happens more often in the evening. The baby does not stop crying when usual ways of comforting, such as holding and feeding, are tried.

Signs of Colic:

  • Crying
  • Flailing of arms and legs
  • Clenched fists
  • Drawing up legs toward abdomen
  • Bulging and tense abdomen
  • Struggling and angry when held

Possible Causes of Colic:

No one really knows the real cause of colic, but some things that may be related include:

  • Gas pains
  • Exposure to Tobacco Smoke
  • Stomach Spasms
  • Immature nervous system
  • Hormones out of balance
  • Immature digestive system
  • Intolerance or allergy to milk/ formula
  • Tension or emotional stress in babys environment

Reflux (GERD) and constipation may also cause similar symptoms


There are a wide variety of things that may help, but very few that will work every time. Often, it is trial and error to find the ones that work best for your child. Suggestions that have helped babies with colic include:

  • Rocking in a chair or recliner
  • Cuddling or Swathing
  • White noise such as a vacuum cleaner or hair dryer
  • Burping your baby multiple times while feeding to alleviate excessive gas
  • Sitting your baby up in a car seat
  • Going for a ride in a car or stroller
  • Giving your baby a pacifier
  • Playing soft and light music

*Never shake your baby!

Important Points:

  • Your babys crying is not your fault
  • Your baby does not blame you
  • Confusion and Anger or normal responses
  • Even though your baby is crying, they are still healthy
  • There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and most babies symptoms resolve by 3-6 months of life.

When to Call your Doctor:

  • Respiratory distress
  • Fever >100.5º
  • Bile or blood in spitup
  • Dehydration
  • Hard stools
  • Poor weight gain
  • Blood in stools
  • Or if you have further concerns