Colic in Babies: Signs, Symptoms, Causes and Treatment (how to soothe colic baby)


😫Infant Colic also called excessive crying syndrome is a problem many mothers complain about especially when their baby is about 1 to 4 months old. It occurs in 4 out of 10 babies.

😫The babies cry suddenly and excessively, usually in the evenings/night. The cry is usually high pitched, quite distressing and could last from 1 to 3 hours for a total of 3 days in a week! It occurs in episodes and stops on it’s own with the baby sleeping calmly at other times.

Colic in babies
A baby with a colic

😫 What causes colic in babies?

There is no proven singular cause of infant colic, but the following have identified:

🔷️Reflux of food from the stomach into the esophagus (throat)

🔷️Over or underfeeding

🔷️Milk protein allergy (for children on infant formula)

🔷️Early introduction of solids/semisolids

🔷️ Incomplete or no burping after feeding

🔷️Bottle feeding

🔷️Exposure to cigarette smoke and tobacco

🔷️Food allergy

🔷️Low birth weight

🔷️Some kind of normal bacteria in the intestines

🔷️Inexperienced mother

🔷️Anger, anxiety and over excitement in the family

😫Some illnesses in babies can mimick colic. These include obstruction of the intestines, strangulated hernia, convulsion, twisting of the testes, ear infection etc. Even hair in the baby’s eye or cloth tied round the baby’s hand/ toes can mimick this.

🤔So how do you know what the baby has is none of the above?

✅ The baby is feeding and even putting on weight very well.

✅The baby is very calm with normal activity at other times

🤷‍♀️What can you DO to help a baby having colic😫➡️🥰

🎯Do not overfeed!

➡️Stick to the baby’s regular feeding schedule of timing and amount of milk taken, as measured in minutes in breastfed babies or ounces in the bottle-fed baby.

➡️Some mothers are fond of offering food to the baby everytime baby cries, even if the baby was fed few minutes earlier. That is wrong! Not every cry is due to hunger!

➡️Sometimes the baby just wants to be held or sleep. So if you carry the baby and the cry stops, then that is just what the baby wants🙂

🎯Breastfeeding mothers should avoid too many milk products (you don’t have to drink milk to make milk), caffeine, onions, cabbage, beans, and other gas-producing, irritating foods. Also observe if there are certain foods to you take which makes the baby more cranky.

🎯If the baby is taking infant formula, try to change the formula one with whey hydrolysate
like Similac and Enfamil. Unfortunately, these are not cheap and not widely available in stores in Nigeria.

🎯Avoid juices (young infants should not be drinking juice anyway).

🎯Ensure you burp the baby after each meal. Some babies are “stubborn” when it comes to burping😆 but you have to be patient with them till they burp.

🎯Lay baby down on the belly. Before you do so, ensure there is nothing close to the baby’s head to avoid suffocation.

🎯You can also give the baby a massage, warm bath or have a warm clothing applied to the belly.

🎯 Take a break! When the anxiety, fear, and tension gets too much, have someone else watch the baby, even for an hour, and leave the house. Try to keep a positive attitude. Daddies, ensure you keep the nursing mummy happy. Stressing her could affect your baby😑

🎯 A faint humming or gushing sound can be help the baby sleep too.

🙅‍♀️What you DON’T do to a baby with colic😫➡️😭🤢🤒

❌Do not give colipan. This contains antispasmodic drugs which can have very serious side effects on your baby and even cause a surgical emergency!!! Besides, it doesn’t do much!

❌Do not give gripe water. This is alcohol!!!

❌Do not give any herbal mixture.

Source: Paediatricians Give Answers


  1. My first child had colic for 5 months. She would only stop crying if I was holding her. (A friend of mine whose baby had colic, could only stop the crying if she was standing upright, holding the baby while bouncing on her ties) The only sleep my daughter or I got was when she slept on top of me for 30 minutes here or there. My pediatrician was very competent and tried every suggestion listed in this article without success.
    She was a week overdue and not low birth rate, no one in either family smoked and my diet was very low in milk and gas producing foods. I was 24 and had been helping family members with infants as well as babysitting and working in nurseries since I was very young. Nothing in this article applied towards our family. However we still suffered from all aspects of a baby with colic.
    I don’t believe the medical community has sufficient knowledge about causes of colic. They pooh-pooh on traditional remedies without being able to offer practical solutions. Telling parents absolutely NOT to use traditional remedies is just as irresponsible as telling them that something they are doing is causing the colic. Perhaps medical practitioners should be explaining to parents how to be certain that gripe water does not contain alcohol, as not all products do, or giving them recipes for making it at home. Colophon is outside my experience, so I cannot comment on that.
    In many cases handing the baby off does no good. My husband would take her every night for 15 minutes so I could shower, but I heard her screaming the entire time.
    Maybe pediatric training ought to require doctors to try to deal with a colicky baby for 24 hours before they start practicing. Maybe it would spur better research into the actual causes.
    I am not saying people shouldn’t listen to doctors. Doctors are trained more than the average person and have wider resources available to them.
    What I am saying is that colic has been around for centuries longer than doctors. Modern medical practitioners need to respect and learn from the treatments that mothers have developed over time.


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