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
  • This photo of baby Sophia - daughter of @katewaterhouse7 - meeting Santa for the first time is so sweet. We'd love to see your Santa photos! Tag us with the hashtag #mandbxmas

    mother and baby This photo of baby Sophia - daughter of @katewaterhouse7 - meeting Santa for the first time is so sweet. We'd love to see your Santa photos! Tag us with the hashtag #mandbxmas

    More from the team
  • Sven cookies for Christmas anyone? We love Frozen and we know your kids do too!

    mother and baby Sven cookies for Christmas anyone? We love Frozen and we know your kids do too!

    More from the team
  • Whenever we say we're heading  to bed we get distracted by these jobs around the house and MORE! #motherandbaby #mumfact

    mother and baby Whenever we say we're heading to bed we get distracted by these jobs around the house and MORE! #motherandbaby #mumfact

    More from the team
  • As if mums need something else to feel guilty about, but new research has found a link between mothers' employment and their preschoolers' BMI.

For the full article visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "kids bmi"

    mother and baby As if mums need something else to feel guilty about, but new research has found a link between mothers' employment and their preschoolers' BMI. For the full article visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "kids bmi"

    More from the team
  • Talking today on the web about finding it difficult to hear bad news stories to do with children. "Since having my own children, this is my consistent reaction to confronting news stories involving children. I've become overly-sensitive to watching and listening to the news."
Visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "Disturbing News"

    mother and baby Talking today on the web about finding it difficult to hear bad news stories to do with children. "Since having my own children, this is my consistent reaction to confronting news stories involving children. I've become overly-sensitive to watching and listening to the news." Visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "Disturbing News"

    More from the team
  • One day we shall all sleep in again. One day.

    mother and baby One day we shall all sleep in again. One day.

    More from the team
  • We can't help but smile every time we see this happy little bubba and his gorgeous Mama pop up in our feed! Follow Bobby and his mum Sophie at @theyoungmummy 👍

    mother and baby We can't help but smile every time we see this happy little bubba and his gorgeous Mama pop up in our feed! Follow Bobby and his mum Sophie at @theyoungmummy 👍

    More from the team
  • Christmas is such a special time of year. Ignite the magic and joy of Christmas in your baby, toddler or child with our list of favourite children's Christmas books. Visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "Christmas books" to see our picks! #MandBxmas

    mother and baby Christmas is such a special time of year. Ignite the magic and joy of Christmas in your baby, toddler or child with our list of favourite children's Christmas books. Visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "Christmas books" to see our picks! #MandBxmas

    More from the team
  • It's official! We're starting our Christmas countdown. Are you excited for the silly season? #MandBxmas

    mother and baby It's official! We're starting our Christmas countdown. Are you excited for the silly season? #MandBxmas

    More from the team
  • QUESTION: What is the age gap between your kids? Jessica Simpson @jessicasimpson has her hands full with her daughter, Maxwell and son, Ace only 13 months apart.

    mother and baby QUESTION: What is the age gap between your kids? Jessica Simpson @jessicasimpson has her hands full with her daughter, Maxwell and son, Ace only 13 months apart.

    More from the team