Symptoms of Colic

Symptoms of ColicColic is different in every baby.

The symptoms vary as do the timing and duration of the crying periods.

Your baby may experience all, or only some, of these symptoms. Some of these symptoms below will also occur from time to time in a perfectly healthy baby. But when in doubt always seek advice from your Health Care Practitioner.



• Intense crying - the crying usually starts suddenly for no apparent reason and often occurs at more or less the same time every day, generally in the late afternoon to early evening. The baby may go red in the face, clench its fists and pull its legs up. Despite trying to comfort the baby, parents can often do very little to stop the screaming. These episodes can last anywhere from a few minutes to hours.

Disturbed sleep - the baby may wake frequently, and the sleep may be interrupted with episodes of crying.

• Body language - the baby may go red in the face, tense its stomach muscles, arch its back and clench its fists.

• Feeding may be irregular and interrupted by episodes of crying, however the total volume a baby consumes should not be reduced.

Wind - during episodes of crying the baby may pass winds. Or once a wind has been passed, your baby may seem to calm.

• Fussy and restless

• The baby may hold his breath for short periods.

Baby's stomach may seem bloated or hard.


The information in this article was reviewed for medical accuracy by, Paediatrician and Allergy Specialist, Dr Claudia Gray (MBChB (UCT), MRCPCH (London), MScClin Pharm(Surrey), DipPaedNutrition (UK), PostgradDipAllergy (Southampton), Certified Paediatric Allergologist (SA))

Dr Gray works at the allergy clinic at the Red Cross Children's Hospital in Cape Town, and has a private practice at Vincent Pallotti Hospital in Cape Town, contact 021 531 8013.