Colic (Infant Colic)

Colic in a baby can be distressing for the entire family.It's defined by

  • Inconsolable crying and irritability
  • Gas-filled abdomen
  • Usually the same time each day (often afternoons or evening)
  • Between 3 weeks to 4 months of age

The Causes

Colic can be the result of (or confused with) a number of causes:
  • Overfeeding
  • Underfeeding
  • Reflux
  • Milk allergy / Formula intolerance
  • Unrecognized infection (rarely)
  • Intestinal problems (rarely)
  • Fussy baby

No matter how the problem starts, the baby's crying results in swallowed air.That air expands the stomach and is uncomfortable and causes the baby to cry more, repeating the cycle.

Nutrition for Colic

  • Breastfeeding can continue.  Babies are not allergic to breastmilk, though sometimes they are sensitive to a food the mother is eating.  Gassy vegetables and foods can be stopped.  Spices can be lessened.
  • Probiotics may be helpful, particularly Biogaia drops (Lactobacillus reuteri).
  • If you are using formula, you may need to try a different formula or cut down the amount you are feeding.
  • The most cost-sensitive partial hydrolysates are Gerber Good Start or Gentlease, depending on pricing (Good Start Soothe also includes Lactobacillus reuteri).
  • Soy formula or complete hydrolysates become a real alternative if milk allergy is suspected and the partial hydrolysates do not reduce symptoms.
  • Medications may be necessary—but beyond gripe water, simethicone to diminish gas, or an antacid, they may merely create a drowsy baby instead of a well one.
  • Learn how to take care of yourself.You need to relax.  Guard your health, energy, and emotions so that you can be at your best in order to take care of your baby during this frustrating period.