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Colic is an attack of crying and what appears to be abdominal pain in early infancy (babies). Colic is a common condition and is estimated to affect at least 20% of babies during their first few months.

Symptoms include:

  • intense crying - the baby cries intensely and furiously, and there is not much the parents can do to comfort him/her. The baby's face will become red and flushed. Crying episodes tend to occur at the same time every day - generally during the late afternoon or evening. Episodes may last from a few minutes to much longer periods. Crying usually starts suddenly and for no apparent reason.

  • baby's posture - fists may be clenched, tensed abdominal muscles, knees drawn up, and the back arched

  • sleeping - sleep may be irregular and interrupted with episodes of crying.

  • feeding - feeding may also be interrupted and irregular with episodes of intense crying. However, the amount the baby eats each day is not reduced.

  • wind - during episodes of intense crying, the baby may pass wind.

  • varying intensities - with some babies, symptoms are mild and the baby may only experience periods of restlessness.

 Some theories of what’s behind it include:

  • a growing digestive system with muscles that often spasm

  • gas and fermentation

  • hormones that cause stomach pain or a fussy mood

  • oversensitivity or overstimulation by light, noise, etc.

  • a still-developing nervous system

An infant often will outgrow the condition by 4 months of age with no permanent problems.

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