What Causes Colic?

It’s not you; it’s the mystery of what causes colic.  Colic is endlessly frustrating and may seem never-ending, but you can handle your colicky baby.

Colic is more than just crying. If your baby is crying for more than three hours a day, for more than three days per week, as a parent you are surely enduring the effects of a colicky infant.


Table Of Contents

What Causes Colic? •  What Causes Colic Baby Facts  •  Colic Causes And Treatment


What Causes Colic In Babies Facts

What Causes Colic

FACT – What causes colic is unknown

Nobody knows what causes it and why it usually stops the third or fourth month after your baby is born.

There has been an abundance of research on colic, probably spurred by appeals from desperate parents. However, findings have been inconclusive.

What is conclusive is the need to support both parent and child [1].


FACT – What causes colic in babies is intense, frequent and prolonged crying of an otherwise healthy baby

The symptoms include predictable, episodic crying usually in the late afternoon or evening when parents are often tired [2].


FACT – Colic is common and can affect up to three out of ten babies [3]

One out of six families will be worried enough to seek medical advice.


FACT – There is no standard treatment for colic

Each infant responds differently to all manner of solutions distressed parents have devised.  What matters is if it works.

Parental frustration is normal. It is not your fault. You are a good parent. Remember that when your newborn angel starts screaming loud enough to wake the dead.

Most importantly, colic will end. It will end itself. You and your baby just need to hang on for a few weeks or months.

This article will not only help your baby, it is a parental survival guide to colic.


Table Of Contents

What Causes Colic? •  What Causes Colic Baby Facts  •  Colic Causes And Treatment


Is Your Baby Eating The Right Amount Of Food?

Foaming Organic Baby Bottle & Dish Soap Sample

Colic Causes And Treatment

What Causes Colic Tip #10 – Keep Calm and Carry On

Rocking A Baby

It is not war, but colicky crying can leave a parent inches away from insanity.

Children frequently pick up their parents’ emotions.  If you get anxious, your child will also get anxious.

You can do this. Breathe deeply.


What Causes Colic Tip #9 – Soothe and Move

What Causes Colic Tip 9 Soothe and Move

Motion works for some babies.

Carrying the baby kangaroo-style with the baby resting on your tummy works for some.

Face the child towards or away from you depending on their preference.

We all know who’s the boss in this bout.


What Causes Colic Tip #8 – Good Vibes

Baby With Dad

Vibration works too.

There are many stories of colicky babies quieting down after a car ride or being laid on top of a running washing machine.

Just think that in a decade or two, you can make your baby do the laundry.


What Causes Colic Tip #7 – Swaddle

What Causes Colic Tip 7 Swaddle

Swaddling to first-timers may seem like the art of a kung fu master, but it is easily learned.  Think of your baby’s comfort, wrapped snugly while being rocked cozily in your arms. It is a win-win for both of you.


What Causes Colic Tip #6 – Dim the Lights and Turn On Noise

Dim The Lights For Your Baby

Some babies respond positively to dimly-lit, quiet rooms. Some prefer white noise; the sound from the vacuum cleaner even soothes some babies. Another chore to look forward to having your child can do in a few years time!


What Causes Colic Tip #5 – Heavenly Massages

Moisturizing Organic Baby Lotion

Give your baby a warm massage by laying them tummy down on a flat surface. Gently massage the arms and legs especially when they are stiffening. Rub their belly to help pass gas which may have accumulated because of the prolonged crying.

Once the baby quiets down, get a massage yourself. You deserve it.

Get some candles with soothing scents and lie down on your tummy.

You can take a nap… or take it out on your pillow.


What Causes Colic Tip #4 – Warm Baths

Baby Shampoo & Body Wash

Warm baths, warm bottles placed on the baby’s belly and warm washcloths will soothe a baby’s senses.

After the baby settles down, settle yourself in a warm bath or with some soothing tea.


What Causes Colic Tip #3 – Speak Gently

Speak Softly To Your Baby

Speak in soothing tones.

Tell a story or anything that will help you remain calm and restore your sense of humor.

Sing to your baby even if the only song you know is the alphabet.

There is a reason why lullabies are a worldwide phenomenon; music can lull the senses.

This is a good chance for you to practice your vocalization and revisit your dreams to be the next Beyonce.


What Causes Colic Tip #2 – Change the Diet

Baby Diet

There is no proven research that diet and colic are related.  However, if changing your child’s formula works, then go for it. If you are breastfeeding, changing your own diet may be a possible solution. Try cutting out dairy, smoking, caffeine, spicy foods and even cabbage.

Make sure to consult your pediatrician.


What Causes Colic Tip #1 – Take a Break

Parents With Screaming Baby

Hand your baby over to your partner, helpful relative or concerned neighbor. Do this one person at a time.

Give yourself a few minutes or an hour. Get support.

No fussing over the fussy baby.

If you can, get an early break before the scheduled crying commences. Schedule your nap, meal or quiet personal moment before evening hits. Strategize how to remain sane in the midst of colic.

A Cautionary Word

Parenting Tips For Infants

Colic is genuinely frustrating and can drive a parent or caregiver to their wits’ end.

If that happens, step back.

Do not give in to anger. It is better to leave your baby in the crib than end up shaking or hitting your baby because of desperation.

Colic is a leading cause of prolonged postpartum depression. If you feel you can no longer deal with it, talk to your doctor and seek professional help.

When Is It Not Colic?

When Is It Not Colic

If your happy baby suddenly breaks into an inconsolable crying fit, it may not be colic.

Look out for these other symptoms:

  • Diarrhea or bloody stool
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • No weight gain
  • Does not eat
  • Excessive somnolence
  • Seems sick or injured

Contact your medical professional if any other symptoms are present.

Colic lasts for a few months. It will be frustrating. You will discover your dark side that you didn’t know existed. However, you will learn patience and resourcefulness.  You will learn the zen of parenthood. Your baby can only survive this because of you.

You are the hero of this story.


Table Of Contents

What Causes Colic? •  What Causes Colic Baby Facts  •  Colic Causes And Treatment


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What Causes Colic In Babies  / What Causes Colic Baby References:
[1] Canadian Paediatric Society “Infantile colic: Is there a role for dietary interventions?” Paediatr Child Health. 2011 Jan16(1):47-9.  Dr. J.Critch.
[2] Mayo Clinic “Colic” Reviewed 21 May 2017. Dr. Dan Brennan.
[3] Patient. “Baby Colic” 23 Oct 2015 Dr. Louise Newson.

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