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Colic is excessive crying and irritability in an infant. You can suspect colic, if your baby cries about the same time each day and nothing you do seems to offer him or her comfort.

To be diagnosed with colic, a baby must cry for more than three hours a day, three days a week and for more than three weeks. Babies that have colic usually become more fussy at the end of the day, but the extreme crying may happen at anytime.

Colic is not caused by a medical condition but all that crying can cause your baby to swallow air, which can lead to gas, discomfort, and more crying.

Causes

The cause or causes of colic are known, but some people think that indigestion or gas may play an important role. Researchers have looked at a number of theories such as an immature digestive system, allergies, lactose intolerance and differences in the way a baby is fed or comforted. However, there is little evidence to support these theories.

Some breastfeeding mothers  say they notice their baby’s crying gets worse after they have consumed certain foods or drinks. Some foods which may affect breast milk include garlic, spicy foods, citrus fruits, dairy and caffeine.

It is  known that women who smoke during pregnancy double their chances of having a baby who develops colic.

Symptoms

A sign of colic is excessive crying in a healthy and well-fed baby.
The crying of a colicky baby is usually very intense with severe and furious outbursts. There may be little or nothing that you can do to comfort child.

Treatment

Colic improves on its own, it is usually worst when babies are around 6 to 8 weeks of age but goes away on its own between 8 and 14 weeks of age. There are treatments available for colic but talk to your doctor before giving any medication to your baby.

However you can try to soothe a crying baby by doing the following;

  • If you think your baby may be hungry, feed your child and make sure you burp your baby after each feeding
  • A pacifier can help your baby calm down
  • Cuddle your baby to comfort him or her
  • Gently rock your baby in your arms or you can use a vibrating infant seat
  • Sing to your baby. This can help soothe a distressed infant
  • A steady background noise like the sound of a fan or fridge can help stop the crying
  • Give your baby a warm bath and massage his/her tummy afterwards
  • If you breastfeed, see if removing certain foods from your own diet has any effect on your baby’s crying.

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