Colic is a condition that affects babies. For the first 3 to 4 months of their life, your baby may have episodes of excessive crying and you may find it difficult to comfort them.
There is usually no clear reason for why your baby is crying if they have colic.1
Because there is no clear reason why your baby is crying, it is difficult to know what all the symptoms of colic are. It is generally thought that if your baby has colic, they are experiencing stomach ache, but it can be for many other reasons.1
Colic happens to typically healthy babies. An episode of colic is normally when your baby has cried for more than 3 hours in a day for 3 days in a week for at least 1 week.
They may show other signs of colic when crying, including:
If you think your baby has colic, you can discuss your concerns with your health visitor or GP.
The cause of colic is not fully understood. It could be due to your baby having difficulties with their digestion. The digestive issues may cause your baby to have more gas in their system which can cause discomfort.3
There may also be a link with the environment the baby is in. If the family or caregivers are stressed, anxious or depressed, it can impact on your baby’s mood.3
More research is needed to understand the causes of colic. If you are worried about your baby, talk to your health visitor.
If your baby is otherwise healthy but is experiencing symptoms of colic, you can discuss your concerns with your health visitor. The health visitor will give you advice on what you can try to soothe your baby.2
Some methods you can try include:
You can try anti-colic drops or probiotic supplements, but there is not a lot of evidence that they will work.2
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- Colic in Babies and Infants: Symptoms & Treatment. Published August 7, 2023. Accessed August 10, 2023. https://patient.info/childrens-health/colic-in-babies-and-infants
- Colic. nhs.uk. Published October 20, 2017. Accessed August 10, 2023. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/colic/
- Colic - infantile | Health topics A to Z | CKS | NICE. Accessed August 10, 2023. https://cks.nice.org.uk/topics/colic-infantile
Published: 13 September 2023
Next review: 13 September 2026
Reviewer: Mital Thakrar, Pharmacist