ColicDoes your baby just seem to scream all the time, or at a specific time each day, for no apparent reason?

You have checked that she is dry, warm, fed and comfortable and yet the screaming does not seem to stop?

 Well, your baby could be suffering from Colic. Colic is defined as periods of crying, fussiness and discomfort that last longer than three hours a day, for more than 3 days a week and 3 weeks or more, and is not caused by a medical condition.

 You don't need to feel alone, nor that you have done something wrong, as Colic is believed to affect up to 40% of babies in early infancy.

 Not that that makes you feel any better does it?

Hold on to the fact that Colic starts a few weeks (normally 2-4 weeks) after birth but it usually subsides at around 3 -4 months. Your baby may scream the house down, but experts generally say that, if it is Colic, there should be no long term side effects for the baby, and the baby should generally feed normally and gain weight.

Seeing your baby crying inconsolably can be extremely stressful and distressing to any new parent. You can start to question if you are doing something wrong, letting your baby down, or if you are just a bad parent. Just remember that within a few short weeks, or a month or two, your first major hurdle of parenthood will be a distant memory, and that Colic is not as a result of bad parenting.

 Colic is indiscriminate and can affect your first, second, and/or third child. Colic occurs in both breast and formula fed babies. Colic does however seem to occur twice as often in babies whose mothers smoked during pregnancy.




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.