Doctor holding a stethoscope to a baby's chest Doctor holding a stethoscope to a baby's chest

Baby colic

Colic is very common in young babies, though there is no sure reason as to what causes it or why some babies get it and some don’t. It usually affects babies in the first 4 weeks of life, and lasts for about 3 to 4 months. 

So what is colic?

When your baby has been crying more than 3 hours a day, 3 days a week for more than 3 weeks - and they are otherwise well-fed and healthy. – then they may be suffering from colic.

How will I know it is colic?

  • Your little one is healthy, and well fed, but cries a lot, often at the same time every day.

  • The crying starts suddenly and for no apparent reason.

  • The crying is intense, high-pitched and often inconsolable.

  • Your baby’s posture changes, they curl their legs up and clench their tiny fists and have tense abdominal muscles during the crying episode.

Will it ever get better?

Most babies do improve as time goes by, and they cry less and less. In fact the majority of babies show clear signs of getting better by the age of three months. Sometimes the transformation is very quick – almost overnight.

Relieving the Symptoms

  • Use gentle heat or touch – give your baby a warm bath or softly massage their little tummy.

  • Many moms and dads often resort to using a sling or front pouch during the period of the evening when their baby is most unsettled. This helps to keep the baby upright and your motion helps to soothe their discomfort.

  • Offer a pacifier – sucking is a soothing action.

  • Sing to your little one or use background “white” noise to help calm them, e.g. a drive in the car.


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