Dr. MJ Bazos MD,
Learning how to deal with your baby’s crying
How does a baby with colic
They cry more than most
babies—a lot more. When they cry, they may draw their arms and legs toward
their bodies and may seem like they’re in pain. Sometimes they stretch out
their arms and legs and stiffen, then draw up again. They may even turn bright
red from crying. A baby with colic may cry in bouts or may cry almost all of the
time. When your baby cries, he or she may swallow air. This may give your baby
gas and make your baby’s tummy look swollen and feel
No one is sure what causes
colic. But we do know it’s not the parents’ fault. Colic isn’t
caused by the way the baby is handled or treated. It may be caused by stomach
pain. Babies with colic seem to need more attention and are more sensitive to
the things around them than other babies.
How long will the colic
Colic usually starts between the
second and sixth week after birth. It almost always goes away by the time the
baby is six months old.
What can I
do to help my baby stop crying?
who have colic may stop crying in response to a number of different things you
do. These things include changes in the way you feed your baby and changes in
the way you hold your baby. You can also try any of the things listed below to
see if they help your baby stop
Things to remember about
- You didn’t cause the colic, so try not to
- Colic almost always goes away by six months of
- You can try many things to soothe your
- Giving your baby extra attention won’t
“spoil” him or her.
- Just because your baby has colic doesn’t
mean he or she is
changes in feeding may help my baby stop
Try any of the things listed
below when you feed your baby to see if they help him or her stop having
- Try feeding your baby if more than two hours have
passed since the last feeding.
- If you feed your baby a formula, your family
doctor might suggest trying a different one. Sometimes switching to a hydrolyzed
protein formula can help stop colic or at least make it better.
- Warming the formula to body temperature before a
feeding may also help.
- Try using a nipple with a smaller hole on the
bottle if a bottle feeding takes less than 20 minutes and your baby seems to
- Try feeding your baby more often but less at a
- Burp your baby after
soothing your baby
- Place a warm water bottle on your baby’s
stomach (make sure it’s not too hot).
- Rock your baby in a rocking chair or use a
- Put your baby in a wind-up swing.
- Give your baby a warm bath.
- Give your baby a pacifier.
- Gently rub your baby’s stomach.
- Wrap your baby in a soft blanket.
- Put your baby in a stroller and go for a
- Go for a drive with your baby in the car
What about how I
hold my baby?
Sometimes babies with
colic will respond to different ways of being
• Hold your baby across your
lap and massage his or her back.
Hold your baby on top of a running dishwasher, washing
or dryer (don’t leave your
• Hold your baby
• Hold your baby while
What can I do when I feel
frustrated with my baby?
Colic can be
very hard for parents to handle. Babies who don’t stop crying can be
frustrating to care for. Any time you feel tired and frustrated, get someone
else to watch your baby for a while. If you can’t find anyone to help you,
try going into another room and watching TV or listening to the radio. Crying
will not hurt your baby. Be sure you give yourself time away from your baby so
you don’t get too
Call your family doctor
- Your baby’s cry changes from a fussy one to
a painful one.
- Your baby stops gaining weight.
- You’re afraid you might hurt your
- Your baby has a