[member-grid items=” Ted Humphry” perrow=”4″ linkprofiles=”1″ /]Colic is fussiness to sometimes vigorous crying that seems to affect babies usually between the ages of two weeks to three or four months. Colic is most frequently in the evening hours, but it may be at any time of day. Sometimes associated there is burping or passing gas, constipation or diarrhea, or mild vomiting. The cause of colic is not known for sure, but most likely it’s a form of gas pain in the tummy. There are lots of treatments that work sometimes for some babies and many home remedies work as well or better than medication.

Changing the feeding schedule occasionally helps. Try burping in different positions, such as sitting on your lap or lying across your legs rather than on the shoulder. Weak teas of chamomile, sassafras, spearmint or peppermint occasionally help. Brew the tea for an adult, then dilute it in half with cold water. Feed two ounces per day maximum. Walking, rocking, bouncing or riding in the car are sure cures for some babies. If the baby is breast fed, if mom eliminates coffee, chocolate, shellfish, spicy or hot foods, nuts or sometimes gassy foods such as broccoli or green peppers, this may help. Try wrapping the baby snugly in a blanket. Try placing the baby on his/her side in bed, taking care that the baby can’t roll onto the tummy.

Over-the-counter medications such as gripe water, simethicone (Mylicon) or antacids sometimes help. Prescription acid blockers sometimes help if there is reflux. Other prescription medications such as paregoric, phenobarbital or Donnatal have been tried, however they have significant side effects and are no more effective than many of the above suggestions.

If there is blood in the stool, the crying is out of character for the child and is sudden, sustained, and vigorous, if there is a fever, if there is poor weight gain, or if the vomiting is becoming progressively worse, the baby should be seen.

No long-term physical or psychological harm will be done to the child with colic if he/she is allowed to simply cry out the spells. That is easy to say and hard for parents to do, but it is OK to let the baby cry if the infant’s basic needs are met. It is also OK to hold, walk and talk to the baby for hours.