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The Colic Survival Guide


Her newborn daughter was the perfect baby — for a week and a half. Then the screaming started. “She just cried nonstop, hours upon hours, pretty much all day,” Jenn Borst of Danbury, Connecticut, recalls with a shudder. “There was barely anything that would soothe her.” The wailing became a way of life for Borst, her husband and even her in-laws, who moved in temporarily to help. They took turns holding, rocking and soothing little Sydney around the clock. “The worst time was from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. We used to go in 15-minute shifts because she would just scream,” Borst says.

A pediatrician diagnosed Sydney with colic at 6 weeks. Colic is inconsolable crying that typically lasts more than three hours a day, more than three days a week, for more than three weeks in an otherwise healthy baby. Having a name for the crying made it more bearable, Borst says, but it didn't stop the tears. In fact, the doctor told them the only real cure was time. Most babies outgrow colic around 12 to 16 weeks. In Sydney's case, the symptoms didn't go away until she was about 7 months old. “You have that helpless feeling,” Borst says. “You think something's hurting, but you never really know.”