Unless it’s in the delivery room, no parent likes to hear her baby cry but we all know it’s just what babies do. So what happens when the crying is about more than fussiness or fatigue? Your little one may be suffering from colic.
Colic typically begins around week three and can continue through 4 months of age. Rarely, infants can continue to be colicky through 7 or 8 months.
What a colicky baby looks like:
Colic vs. acid reflux: Many parents wonder if their baby’s colic is actually acid reflux. “Acid reflux involves stomach contents (milk and acid) coming up into the throat, causing painful burning, and spitting up. Colic is irritation down lower in the digestive system—intestines and colon,” reports Robert Sears, MD. An infant with reflux will spit up a lot, fuss more upon lying down, have trouble sleeping due to pain, and find relief from symptoms when held upright. Colicky babies tend to have an easier time sleeping and continue to cry despite their position. “The causes of reflux and colic can be similar, however,” explains Sears. “So it isn’t always necessary to distinguish between the two. Any baby who has colic symptoms, reflux symptoms, or both, can go through the same treatment options.”
Priscilla Dunstan, author of Calm the Crying: The Secret Baby Language That Reveals the Hidden Meaning Behind an Infant’s Cry shares her tips for identifying a colicky cry and for comforting a hurting infant.