Family Health Guide

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Colic: Symptoms

Babies with colic cry, but so do all babies. Your little guy’s in tears because he literally has no other way to tell you what he needs. Newborns can't really control their crying -- and in the first few weeks of life, it’s sometimes a reflexive behavior. How can parents -- especially new parents -- judge if the crying is actually colic?

Try not to panic when he starts to wail; once you’ve gone through the obvious list of complaints -- is he cold, hot, hungry, tired, poopy? -- see whether your child fits the “rule of threes” mentioned above, or simply just cries more than seems normal (a good rule of thumb is more than three hours a day). Infants with colic also sometimes take a long time to eat, fuss through a feeding, or want to nurse constantly. A colicky baby might also clench his fists, arch his back, or  try to pass gas while he cries.