Ask the Doctor: Dealing With Colic

Tips on how to soothe a colicky baby
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To help soothe a baby with colic, try swaddling, swinging, swaying, or adding white noise to the room.

Colic. Just the word makes moms and dads who have experienced it tense up and sigh in tired frustration. Colic occurs in roughly 10 to 25 percent of healthy infants, and something those baby's parents learn to deal with in those first weeks (sometimes months) of life. Dr. Miranda Cordell, pediatrician at Novant Health Pediatrics Arboretum, shares some tips on recognizing and treating a baby with colic.

What is colic?

Cordell: Many causes have been proposed, such as overstimulation, increased gas production, or a change in bacteria that normally live in the intestines, but there is no definite cause, or treatment, for colic.

How do I know if my baby is colicky?

Cordell: It is characterized by fussy outbursts for more than three hours, more than three times per week; most commonly during the evening or at night. Typically with these crying spells, the child has a higher than normal pitched cry and they are difficult to console. 

What can I do to soothe my baby?

Cordell: Calming techniques such as swaddling, swaying or swinging and white noise can help alleviate the crying during these episodes. Probiotics made for infants can help relieve symptoms, which typically resolve spontaneously by 3-4 months of age.