Infant colic is a condition in which a newborn or infant cries intensely and inconsolably for an extended period of time, usually at least three hours per day for at least three days a week for three weeks.

Causes of colic:

There is no single cause of colic, but it is believed to be the result of several factors that can work together. Here are some possible causes and factors that can contribute to colic in babies:

  • Stomach problems: There are theories that colic can be caused by gas or colic in babies. An immature digestive process can lead to stomach discomfort.

  • Overstimulation: Babies are sensitive to stimuli from the environment. Overstimulation can overwhelm their nervous system and cause inconsolability.

  • Sensitive gut: Some babies may have sensitive guts that are sensitive to certain substances in the mother's breast milk or infant formula.

  • Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes in both mother and baby during pregnancy and after delivery can affect the baby's well-being.

  • Lactose intolerance or sensitivity: Some babies may have difficult to break down lactose, milk sugar, which can cause discomfort.

  • Allergies or intolerances: Some babies may have allergies or intolerances to certain foods or substances that the mother consumes and that pass to the baby through the breast milk.

  • Swallowing problems: Some babies may have difficulty swallowing air during breastfeeding or bottle feeding, which can lead to gas and discomfort.

  • Psychological factors: Colic can also be affected by psychological factors such as anxiety or stress in the parents, as babies can react to their parents' emotional state.

  • It is important to note that the causes of colic are not fully understood, and there is no simple solution. Parents who suspect that their baby has colic should consult a pediatrician or midwife to rule out any medical problems and get advice on how to manage and relieve the baby's discomfort.

    Symptoms of colic:

    Colic in infants is characterized by specific symptoms and behaviors. To diagnose colic, the baby must exhibit the following symptoms:

    • Intensive crying: The infant cries inconsolably and intensely for long periods, usually at least three hours per day, at least three days a week, for at least three weeks in a row.

    • Irregularity: Crying usually does not follow a pattern and can occur at any time of the day or night.

    • Unpredictability: It is difficult to predict when crying will start or stop, and it cannot be linked to specific needs such as hunger, diaper changes, or tiredness.

    • Spasmodic movements: During periods of crying may the infant show signs of discomfort, such as pulling the knees up toward the stomach or stretching the legs.

    • Difficulty to soothe: Although the parents try to comfort and soothe the infant, it is difficult to get the baby to stop crying during the colic periods.

    • Ingestion: Colic does not affect the infant's ability to eat or gain weight as expected.

    • It is important to note that colic is a diagnosis based on the observation of the symptoms and the exclusion of other possible medical causes of restlessness.

      Tips on what you can do yourself do:

      Helping and soothing a colicky baby can be challenging, but there are several measures you can try to ease your baby's distress. Here are some tips:

      • Breastfeeding or feeding: Offer the breast or bottle if it is time to feed. Colic can sometimes be related to hunger or stomach discomfort.

      • Change the diaper: Check if the diaper is wet or dirty. A dirty diaper can cause discomfort.

      • Carry and rock: Hold the baby close to you and rock it in your arms or in a cradle. Many babies enjoy being rocked.

      • Soothing movements: Try gently rocking the baby back and forth in a cradle or in your arms. You can also use a stroller or a babysitter that vibrates.

      • Soothing sounds: A soft noise machine, a spinning washing machine or a soundtrack with soothing sounds such as heartbeats or rain sounds can sometimes help.

      • Stomach-to-stomach position: Place the baby on your stomach with his stomach against your stomach. This can sometimes relieve the discomfort in the stomach.

      • Massage: Gently massage the baby's stomach in circular motions using a warm towel or baby oil.