When your baby is around three weeks old, you might start noticing sudden bouts of crying for absolutely no apparent reason. Nothing seems to make it stop, and it lasts about hours at a time. This is colic. Colic is not a disease and won’t cause any long-term harm to your little one, but it sure is baffling. Colic is incredibly common – occurring in one in five infants – so if you notice what is called the “rule of three”, then you most likely are dealing with a colicky baby.

The Rule of Three:                                                                               

  • Crying starts around three weeks old
  • Lasts more than three hours
  • Occurs at least three days a week
  • Persists for at least three weeks in a row

In addition to this general rule of thumb, other symptoms include…

  • Loud wails that are piercing and continuous
  • May go on and off for several hours until they fall asleep
  • Usually, the crying occurs around the same time every day
  • Your baby seems almost frantic
  • Closing the eyes, opening the eyes wide, furrowing brows, and holding their breath briefly

Now, when it comes to what causes colic – there’s very little found. There has been a large amount of research, but colic remains a mystery. There are possible explanations, such as overstimulated senses, an immature digestive system, or infant acid reflux. However, the exact cause is not known. Luckily, colic tends to peak around six weeks and will improve significantly between three to four months. In the meantime, here are some tips and tricks to help soothe a colicky baby:

  • Apply pressure to baby’s tummy
  • Try gripe water
  • Swaddle your little one
  • Make white noise
  • Offer a pacifier
  • Hold them as much as possible
  • Play soothing music
  • Rock or dance with them in your arms

And do not let this weigh too heavily on your shoulders. It can be very frustrating and overwhelming to deal with a colicky baby, and if you need to take a break for a few minutes – that’s okay. It’s important to keep yourself calm so you can help your little one become calm. Don’t think that just because you can’t soothe him that you are a bad parent – this happens to everyone. It’s the mystery of colic.

 

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