My son is 6 weeks old and cries for hours at a time, especially at night, and I can’t seem to make him comfortable. Could this be colic? And if so, what can I do to help him?
Whenever parents are concerned that their infant is crying too much, the first thing I always ask is whether or not he is otherwise doing okay. At 6 weeks, “otherwise OK” means:
- drinking well (breast milk and/or formula)
- peeing six or more times a day
- pooping regularly
- and growing well (as evidenced by the growth measurements pediatricians routinely plot on the growth curve).
Following what is often referred to as the rule of threes, colic typically appears:
- at 3 to 6 weeks of age
- consists of crying for three or more hours per day
- occurs more than three days per week
As for what can be done to soothe colicky babies, you can find a more detailed description of the most commonly recommended strategies, including those of my colleague Dr. Harvey Karp, in my newborn book, Heading Home with Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality. They include such simple but soothing techniques such as:
- providing movement (such as swaying or pushing around in a stroller
- white noise (or “shushing” as Dr. Karp calls it)