Infantile Colic

What is infantile colic?

Infantile colic is a condition in which an otherwise healthy baby cries excessively, frequently and at an abnormally high pitch. These inconsolable crying episodes, which occur most likely in the evening, are the most typical symptom. A physician should exclude any other cause for the excessive crying to confirm the diagnosis of the infantile colic. The treatment usually includes behavioral interventions. This condition, generally speaking, tends to resolve on its own with no long term complications.

Risks

Infantile colic is commonly observed in babies between the ages of 2 weeks and up to 4 months, with a peak at six weeks of age. It is equally frequent in both male and female infants. The causes of infantile colic are largely unknown.

Symptoms

The most typical symptom of infantile colic is episodes of high-pitched, excessive crying, which often occurs during the evening hours. The infants are usually otherwise normal and have normal appetite and normal weight gain. Babies with colic also tend to grimace when crying, and draw their knees toward their bellies.

Diagnosis

To confirm the diagnosis, other cause for the crying should always be excluded first. It is often defined by rule of three, crying for more than three hours per day, for more than three days per week, and for longer than three weeks in an infant who is well-fed and otherwise healthy.

Treatment

Since the causes are largely unknown, the treatment options are limited. As the condition does not cause serious problems, parents are advised to develop techniques to help the infant to stop crying, such as singing, swaddling or holding the infant etc. Changes in feeding habits or diet are usually not recommended.

Other names for infantile colic

  • baby colic