Colic: the basics

12:0AM, Jan 20th 2010

A colicky baby can be a nightmare - here's our beginners' guide.

Colic is pain in the abdomen, and it is generally thought to be caused by wind. It affects about 40% of babies, usually between the ages of two weeks and four months. The main symptom is the sudden onset of regular, prolonged periods of crying, usually in the evening and lasting around 20 minutes. During these bouts, your baby may draw his knees up towards his stomach, his face may go red and he might have a lot of excess wind.

What you should do

First, rule out other possible reasons for your baby's distress. Check that he isn't hungry or ill, or need feeding or changing. Get your GP or health visitor to take a look at him. Once you're sure colic is causing his discomfort, try the following techniques until you find one that works for you - and for him.

Give him a cuddle
Hold him to your chest, rock him gently in your arms, or hold him face down, with his stomach across your lower arm. This position can help expel excess wind, and some mothers find it brings instant relief.

Distract him
Hold a mirror in front of his face, switch on the vacuum cleaner or washing machine, or simply take him into another room for a change of scenery. Taking him for a drive or walk in the pram can be very helpful, as the movement can have a calming effect. Sucking on a dummy may also soothe him.

Try a massage
A massage can help release trapped wind. Gently move your hands in a clockwise, circular motion from the navel out over your baby's stomach. Use a baby massage oil to help your hands glide easily over his skin. It's best to massage him about an hour before you think he's likely to cry - but not just after a feed.

See your pharmacist
Colic drops, such as Infacol, are specially formulated to relieve wind and griping pain and are free of sugar, alcohol and colourants so are safe to use on tiny babies. Colic drops are available from your pharmacist without prescription, and most are suitable for babies from birth (always read the label). Give your baby a few drops before each feed to help relieve colic and soothe any griping pains.

If you find that none of these techniques work the first time, try them again a few days later. What doesn't work today may work tomorrow, so don't despair.
comments powered by Disqus

Related articles

 
 
instagram
  • How cool are these Where's Wally #havaianas!?

    mother and baby How cool are these Where's Wally #havaianas!?

    More from the team
  • With Spring on the doorstep we thought it a good opportunity to GIVEAWAY some fabulous #zoggs products. We have one prize pack up for grabs for your little boy or girl that will include 1 x pair of swimmers, a swim cap, pair of goggles, Peppa or George Pig floaties and a sun safety essential, rash vest. All you need to do is repost this image and follow @zoggsaustralia  @motherbaby_au and #zoggswaterconfidence (if your little one is under two, we will give you a swim nappy in place of the swimmers) We will choose a winner on Thursday night, 8pm! Winner announcement on Friday. Good luck! #ourfirstgiveaway #yay  #followusmoregiveawayscoming

    mother and baby With Spring on the doorstep we thought it a good opportunity to GIVEAWAY some fabulous #zoggs products. We have one prize pack up for grabs for your little boy or girl that will include 1 x pair of swimmers, a swim cap, pair of goggles, Peppa or George Pig floaties and a sun safety essential, rash vest. All you need to do is repost this image and follow @zoggsaustralia @motherbaby_au and #zoggswaterconfidence (if your little one is under two, we will give you a swim nappy in place of the swimmers) We will choose a winner on Thursday night, 8pm! Winner announcement on Friday. Good luck! #ourfirstgiveaway #yay #followusmoregiveawayscoming

    More from the team
  • We all need comfy shoes whilst pregnant, right!??!! And a present from Tiffany wouldn't be sneezed at!! Did you get a 'push present' after giving birth?! #inspiration #tiffanyblue #yesplease

    mother and baby We all need comfy shoes whilst pregnant, right!??!! And a present from Tiffany wouldn't be sneezed at!! Did you get a 'push present' after giving birth?! #inspiration #tiffanyblue #yesplease

    More from the team
  • Ahhhh, the name game!! How did you come up with your little ones name? Did you have a name ready to go or did you wait until you met bubba?

    mother and baby Ahhhh, the name game!! How did you come up with your little ones name? Did you have a name ready to go or did you wait until you met bubba?

    More from the team
  • And for the boys, it's hard to go past this adorable @targetaustralia bear coverall. Very affordable at only $15. Time to shop!

    mother and baby And for the boys, it's hard to go past this adorable @targetaustralia bear coverall. Very affordable at only $15. Time to shop!

    More from the team
  • LOVING the new season baby collections from @targetaustralia This beauty is only $18. Yep, $18! We'll have two, thanks!!

    mother and baby LOVING the new season baby collections from @targetaustralia This beauty is only $18. Yep, $18! We'll have two, thanks!!

    More from the team
  • Congrats to @soniakruger who just announced her pregnancy on Instagram by posting this cute shot! How did you announce your good news? #baby #pregnancy #soniakruger

    mother and baby Congrats to @soniakruger who just announced her pregnancy on Instagram by posting this cute shot! How did you announce your good news? #baby #pregnancy #soniakruger

    More from the team
  • Father's Day is just around the corner so here's one for the boys. Just loooveeee these wheels  @loveluckandwonder #regram #matchymatchy #fatherandson #letshearitfortheboys

    mother and baby Father's Day is just around the corner so here's one for the boys. Just loooveeee these wheels @loveluckandwonder #regram #matchymatchy #fatherandson #letshearitfortheboys

    More from the team
  • Happy Friday, mums!

    mother and baby Happy Friday, mums!

    More from the team
  • Spoilt for choice thanks to #gaiaskinnaturals. There really is something for the whole family! 
@gaia_skin_naturals #babycare

    mother and baby Spoilt for choice thanks to #gaiaskinnaturals. There really is something for the whole family! @gaia_skin_naturals #babycare

    More from the team