Breastfeeding baby and colic

Although it is a common condition in children, baby colic or uncontrolled crying by an otherwise healthy baby, can be distressing to the parents. Find out more about this condition and what you can do to alleviate it.

What is Colic?

If your baby cries at the same time everyday, and nothing you do seems to offer comfort, your baby may have colic. Baby colic is one of the major challenges of parenthood affecting 1 out of 4 babies and can be very stressful.

However, colic is relatively short-lived, ending in a matter of weeks or months:

  • Begins around the first 3 weeks of life
  • Lasts at least 3 hours a day
  • Occurs at least 3 days a week
  • Continues for at least 3 weeks
  • Seldom lasts longer than 3 months

What Causes Colic?

The cause of colic is still unknown.

However, some possibilities include:

  • Gas in the intestinal tract
  • Hypersensitivity to stimulation in the environment (e.g. sound, light)
  • Intense temperament in the newborn period
  • Immature nervous system


Dietary causes have been linked to:

  • Cow’s milk protein sensitivity
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Immature digestive system

Researchers note that babies of mothers who smoke during or after pregnancy have a greater risk of developing infant colic.

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