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Help Your Baby Feel Better

Colic

One out of five babies cries loudly and is difficult to comfort, usually for three or more hours at a time, often in the evening. Although it's not an illness -- just a stage that some infants go through -- it can drive parents crazy.

Peak age: Typically begins at 2 to 4 weeks; 85 percent get over it by 3 months.

What to do: Swaddle your baby, rock him gently, give him a pacifier, and, if you're breastfeeding, eliminate caffeine from your own diet. Walk with him or take him for a ride in the car. These steps may calm your infant -- and perhaps you, say experts. But see the doctor to make sure nothing else is causing the crying, such as an ear infection, a sensitivity to cow's milk, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid creeps into the esophagus, producing heartburn. And call immediately if he vomits or if there's mucus or blood in his poop; these can be signs of an intestinal obstruction, though this is quite rare.

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