Is your baby fussy or colicky?

October 24, 2011 12:00 AM by

Colic is one of the most common conditions affecting newborns – it's not unusual to hear new moms referring to their fussy, upset infants as "colicky." But what is colic really? Your newborn may be affected by the condition if he's younger than five months and cries incessantly, for at least three hours in a row, three days a week, for three weeks.

Colic is a frustrating situation for new moms, because it doesn't have any discernible cause. A colicky baby is otherwise healthy, but cries excessively, especially in the early evening. It may be because his digestive system is still learning to process milk, or he may simply be a crier. Listening to your baby cry is tough for any mother, but having no way to put a stop to the sound is downright distressing.

About 20 percent of babies experience colic, but the good news is that nearly all of them outgrow it on their own by the time they're 5 months old. That can be a long time for you to deal with it, so don't forget to look out for yourself, too. Don't blame yourself – your baby isn't crying because you're doing anything wrong. Ask your partner for help when you need it, and step outside for a short stroll or a breath of fresh air if the situation begins to feel overwhelming. 

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