I recently had a patient come to me with her six-week-old baby. She was exhausted and desperate, reporting that her son cried for hours at a time, especially at night. Her older children never had this problem and she was frustrated with trying to find ways to help her little one feel more comfortable. "Is this colic? What is colic?" she asked incredulously. What are the baby colic symptoms and remedies?
Colic is a common problem found in six to 13 percent of all infants. Colicky infants cry for an average of four hours a day, enough to irritate even the most loving parent. And persistent, inconsolable crying, especially in the evening, is the hallmark of colic.
Does Your Baby Have Colic?
If your little one is often inconsolable, and cries for long stretches of time (often during the evening hours), be sure to make an appointment with your family pediatrician. You and your child's doctor need to make sure that there is no medical cause for your baby's colic. While medical causes for colic are rare, if they are present, they should be treated as soon as possible.
To determine if there is an underlying cause for your baby's crying; discuss the following questions with your pediatrician:
- Is there a hernia or evidence of some other medical problem?
- Is your child stooling too much or too little?
- Is there any blood or mucous in the stool?
- Is your child eating too much or too little?
- Are the stools abnormally colored (clay-colored, frothy or very green, tar black)?
- Is weight gain below what would be expected?
If the answer to any of these questions is "yes," further investigation by your doctor should be pursued. (Read more about the medical reasons some babies incessantly cry.)