Colic in babies

What is colic and why do some babies get it?

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What is Colic? It is a condition associated with too much crying of babies. Doctors describe colic as the persistent crying of babies for more than three hours a day. If the crying persists more than three days in a week and more than three weeks, the condition can be referred to as colic. When mothers have given birth, they would like the babies to behave normally. Crying as a baby is normal, but it should last few minutes, and the baby relaxes and asleep. Some babies end up crying too much to expose the mothers to postpartum depression. There are different causes of health conditions. It involves a healthy baby crying too much. Parents find it hectic to deal with a crying baby because they cannot get enough sleep or know the exact cause of the baby’s cry. There are several tips doctors recommend that can be applied to manage colic in babies.

Contributing factors of colic in babies

There is no known definitive cause of colic in babies. But, experts have come up with a list of factors that can lead to the condition. Colic in babies can be managed if the right steps are taken to address the problem. For example, the mother should be careful of the triggers and avoid them. Some of the common causes that experts associate with colic are:

Too much gas

When babies have too much gas, they tend to stay stressed. The stress can lead to too much crying. Mothers should check out the condition of the gas in the babies. Burping the baby and controlling the air can reduce the gas. Babies do not know how to communicate with others so that mothers can see the distress they have. They can resort to too much crying.

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Underdeveloped digestive system

In some cases, colic in baizes starts as early as two weeks old. When the kids tend to cry too much at an early age, they may have underdeveloped digestion. Underdeveloped digestion can cause discomfort as the baby breastfeed. The digestion process should run efficiently to allow the babies to get the desired nutrients and sleep well. The underdeveloped digestive system is among the issues doctors will check out to know whether the crying is associated with stomach discomfort.

Acid reflex

Some babies develop acid reflux issues. The GERD disease can lead to discomforts in the babies. Babies who feel discomfort will cry as a way of letting parents known they are not okay. Parents are advised to check out the acid reflex by monitoring the babies. Some medications can be administered to calm the acid reflex issue. It can be applied to make the kids relax and sleep.

Overfeeding and underfeeding

When babies overfeed, they will tend to feel hungry and cry. The way mothers feed their babies should be checked out when trying to find out the possible causes of the crying and discomforts. Babies should be given enough breastmilk. If the milk is not enough, they can be given baby formulas that will make them feel full. Full babies tend to sleep, allowing mothers to relax and accomplish other things. Babies should get just enough food for them to feel comfortable and sleep. If they are offered too much food, they can develop stomach complications that make them start crying.

Not enough burping

Babies need to burp so that they can release excess gases from the stomach. Some babies do not burp enough, and it leads to the development of too many gases in the stomach. Parents need to check out whether their babies are burping enough. If they are not burping sufficient, they can help them burp by initiating the right exercises to make them burp. Ensure the child does not have too much gas in the stomach that can lead to discomforts. When the discomforts are too much for the baby to bear, she will start crying uncontrollably.

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Food allergies

The foods babes are fed can be a reason. If a parent has changed the formula that the baby eats and starts crying too much, the cries may have something to do with food allergies. Just like adults, kids can develop allergies that will affect them. The parents should study their kids’ behavior and come up with the right ways to manage the allergies to avoid cases where the babies will be exposed to colic.

Milk intolerances

Some babes develop milk intolerance. The issue can lead to colic. In most cases, babies are fed milk and milk-related products. The continuous feeding of the baby with the milk products can lead to more cries. It is a problematic issue for parents, but it can be managed if necessary measures are taken.

Tobacco smoke exposure

Does one of the parents smoke? There have been cases where babies exposed to too much tobacco smoke end up developing colic. The smoke from tobacco can be too much for the kids. Parents who smoke should ensure they stay away from their babies when smoking. Mothers are advised to quit smoking as they breastfeed because it has several side effects that can affect the kids.

Family tension

The environment where the kid stays can contribute to the tension that will make the babies start crying. Going for methods that can calm down the baby will contribute to managing colic. A newborn baby will have to interact with a new environment where the family tension can be set up. Sometimes babies start developing colic when they are moved to new places or homes. In such scenarios, the kids may be shocked due to the environmental changes. Calming down the tension can contribute towards managing the excessive cries in the baby.


Some babes are born with temperament traits. The tendency to get irritated easily can contribute to them crying too much. In the case of temperament issues, the caregivers should study the babies in advance and develop the right strategies to avoid exposure to irritations that can make them start crying. Ensuring the babies are fed well and creating a comfortable environment to sleep can avoid irritations. Some babies would not like to get introduced to new people. The parents can study the kids’ behaviors and avoid irritants that can expose them to temperaments.

Sensitivity to stimulation

Some babies are born with an immature nervous system. They can end up being stimulated too much when exposed to stimulation such as sounds or heat. To avoid too much crying caused by the high level of sensitivity, getting the child comfortable is necessary. Avoid too much exposure to light and sounds. There are high chances the baby will start crying when near people who make a lot of noise.

Underlying health issues

Babies can start crying due to underlying health issues. For example, babies who suffer from different forms of infection can start crying. A hernia is another health complication that can make babies cry too much. The parents can seek help from doctors who will help them manage different health complications. If the baby was not crying and the cry becomes too much all of a sudden, then make efforts to see a doctor who will carry out diagnostics to know whether there are some health complications that the kid is facing and the possible measures that can be taken to address the issues.

Colic signs and symptoms

Apart from understanding what colic is, it is good to understand the signs and symptoms so that early measures can be taken to avoid too much crying of the baby; the parents cannot concentrate or have enough sleep if the baby will keep crying too much. Getting to know the right steps to take is also essential to manage the cries in the babies. Some of the common signs that parents can check out to know whether the kids are suffering from colic are:

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Inconsolable crying

Colic is associated with too much crying in babies. The babies may not have any health issues disturbing them, but they will keep crying too much. If after taking the necessary measures to ensure the baby is comfortable and still crying too much, the parent has reason to get worried because she may be suffering from colic. Normally, babies will stop crying if necessary measures are taken to console them.


Some babies will start crying and end up screaming too much. If the baby tends to scream a lot even after trying to offer some form of consolation, it is another reason to fear. Your child may be suffering from colic. Normal babies should cry a bit but spend most of the time sleeping or playing. The issue of too much crying in babies can affect the babies a lot.

Extending and pulling up of her legs towards the tummy

Some babies will start crying and pull up their legs towards the tummy. The movement is among the signs of colic that many parents experience. Necessary steps should be taken to address the root cause of the issue so that parents can find time to relax at home with their babies. Babies should bring joy to their parents; too much crying may not bring joy.


Passing gas

When a baby has too much gas, she will tend to pass it out. In some cases, the gas may be too much to an extent all of it will not pass out. The baby will get irradiated and start crying. Suppose the baby has episodes of passing out the gas. If they start crying, the baby may be suffering from colic, and the necessary measures should be taken to address the issue so that the baby can stay comfortable.

Enlarged stomach

Common causes of colic in babies revolve around stomach issues. Issues such as gas, GERD, and an underdeveloped digestive system can lead to colic. If the baby has an enlarged stomach, then he may be suffering from colic. Parents should check the condition of their babies’ stomachs and the way they cry. If the stomach appears abnormal, then necessary measures should be taken to address the issue so that the baby can sleep comfortably.

Arched back

Is the baby’s back appearing abnormal? If the baby tends to arch her back too much, it is a sign that something is not right. It is among the signs of colic to check out in the babies. If the baby tends to have an arched back, it is good to check out the possible causes of the health complications to avoid the child crying. Parents lack peace when their kids tend to cry too much. Coming up with measures that can calm down or address the root cause of too much crying in the baby is necessary to stay cool and sleep.

Clenched fists

Some babies tend to have clinched fists as they cry. The clenching of the fists is among the signs of colic. It should be addressed to avoid issues where the baby will cry too much to an extent where she will start developing other health complications. Remember, the babies should have enough sleep. Mothers cannot have enough sleep if the babies are crying too much. Looking for ways of managing the crying in the babies is essential to make the babies stay comfortable.

Reddened face after crying

There are cases where the kids tend to cry too much to develop red faces. The baby can cry, but an extent where red faces are developed should be checked out. There is something that is making the baby uncomfortable. Getting necessary help from health experts is crucial to managing the issues that are affecting the babies.

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Complications associated with colic

There is no direct connection of health problems in babies associated with colic. Too much crying in the baby can have several health complications in the parents. Parents cannot concentrate if the baby is crying too much. The parent’s wellbeing is an important part of the upbringing of the baby. If the mother is stressed or lacks enough sleep, she may not have enough milk to make her sleep enough. Getting essential help to manage colic is necessary. Some of the health complications that parents can develop due to their babies affected by colic are:

High risk of postpartum depression

Mothers who have babies who suffer from colic are at high risk of developing postpartum depression. Depression affects babies in several ways. It is good to get help in case the depression sets up. The health complications are known to cause adverse effects on mothers. First-time mothers are even at high risk of developing more complications out of the health issue.

Cessation of breast-feeding

When mothers are exposed to too much noise from the cries, they can end up stopping the breastfeeding process early. Babies are required to breastfeed up to the age of six months. If the babies are not breastfeeding well, they may not have strong immunity to protect them from different diseases. Mothers should ensure they breastfeed the babies as recommended by the doctors for healthy living. Feelings of guilt in parents

Parents will be affected psychologically when their baby cries too much and does not know what to do. In most cases, colic can be caused by hard factors for the parents or doctors to know. The parents tend to be stressed because they feel they should stop the baby crying, but they are unable.

frustrated mom

Exhaustion in mothers

Breastfeeding mothers need time to rest. It becomes hard for them to rest if they are exposed to too much crying of the babies. Mothers cannot concentrate on other activities if they are exposed to too much crying in the babies.

Feeling of helplessness and anger

There are high chances that the parents will develop feelings of helplessness when the babies cry too much. Getting help from doctors is essential to manage parents’ mental health who have kids who suffer from colic. The feeling of anger in some parents can set in when they have tried different things to cool the babies down, but the babies are not responding.

Ways to manage colic in babies

There are several measures parents can take to address the issue. First, they should try and understand the root cause of the excessive crying. If the root cause can be addressed, then it becomes easy to manage the condition. The foods the mothers are feeding may be causing problems to the babies. They can reduce the intake of onions, caffeine, cabbage, and irritating foods. The mothers should as well ensure they do not overfeed the babies. A gentle massage can cool down the baby. Switch formulas in case the change of formula lead to colic.

Colic is a condition that can be managed. Take time to analyze recent changes to the baby’s diet to locate the root cause. If the root cause can be identified, then it becomes easy to manage the health condition in babies. In most cases, colic does not have serious health complications in babies. It is good to get to the root cause to avoid babies crying too much to an extent where they can affect the health of the mother.