What is colic and how to treat it

Colic commonly begins when a baby is 2 weeks old and, in most cases, ends when a baby is 3 months old. No one knows what causes colic or why some babies are affected and others not. Breast-fed as well as bottle-fed babies get colic. An immature digestive system or an irritable nervous system may be to blame.

A feeding often prompts an episode of colic. In some babies, colic begins right after they nurse. They draw up their legs in pain and may cry for an hour or more.

You can try one or several ways of soothing the baby: gentle rocking, rubbing the baby’s back, warm pads on the baby’s abdomen, giving the baby a pacifier. Sometimes nothing works. Inform your pediatrician of the problem so that he can determine whether there’s another cause for the pain. Colicky babies usually thrive and gain weight normally.