by April Reinhardt
(last updated September 5, 2008)
Most newborn babies have bouts of fussiness, but if your baby cries or screams for hours each day, your baby may have colic. Defined as inconsolable and excessive crying, not attributable to an obvious cause, colic affects nearly one out of five newborns. Doctors speculate that colic stems from abdominal pain starting at about two weeks of age, lasting through three months.
When colicky babies cry, they may draw up their legs and arms towards their bodies, stretch out and stiffen, then draw inward again. They cry for more than three hours a day, and may turn red from crying. Observe your baby and learn to recognize the symptoms of colic so that your may discuss treatment with your pediatrician. Here are some things you can do to recognize symptoms of colic:
Once you and your pediatrician have determined that your baby has colic, follow the advice of the doctor first. Yet, also know that there are a few remedies that you can try at home to ease your baby's colic symptoms. You can establish soothing techniques and feeding changes:
Although colic and the hours of crying can be frustrating for you, crying will not hurt your baby. If you feel that you are frustrated to the point of anger, find someone else to watch your baby so that you can take a break and calm down. Never shake your baby. If you feel overwhelmed, get help and do not take your frustrations out on your baby.