infant colic

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Infant colic: what is it and how to relieve it?

Your baby has just sucked or taken a bottle and suddenly starts to cry uncontrollably and for no apparent reason... Your child may be suffering from infant colic. What is infant colic? Where does it come from? How to relieve it? We explain everything in this article.

1. What is infant colic?

Infant colic is a crying fit that comes on suddenly, usually between the 6th and 8th week after the baby is born, but rarely starts before 3 weeks. They eventually disappear on their own, often around the child's 3rd or 4th month.


Colic is a sudden onset of crying and fussing, usually after feeding (breast or bottle). They occur at least 3 hours a day, at least 3 days a week, for more than a week. These attacks may be recurrent and may occur at the same time of day, i.e. in the late afternoon or evening, but also at other times.


Colic is not an illness, but rather is characterized as a behavior. A colicky baby is a healthy baby who has no fever, is suckling properly, has normal bowel movements and has a normal growth curve. So while we know how scary these crying spells can be, take comfort in the fact that it will pass and your baby is not in danger.

2. How do I know if my baby is colicky?

As we told you before, a colicky baby is a healthy baby. If your baby is sick, it's important to see your doctor because it could be something else.


If your baby is healthy and has any of the "symptoms" below, he or she may have infant colic:


  • Your baby suddenly starts crying after feeding and is difficult to calm down
  • It turns red and wiggles
  • He folds his legs against his stomach
  • Has a hard stomach and passes gas or stool
  • He seems to have a stomach ache for no apparent reason

3. Why does my baby have colic?

Although it can be a concern, 20% of babies have colic. To date, no study has been able to clearly determine where colic comes from or what causes it. However, several hypotheses are often put forward, so we thought it was important to inform you:

  • The baby's intestine is still immature and does not absorb fats and nutrients well. This could cause painful contractions for baby.
  • The baby's gut would also develop intestinal microbiota to enable it to digest milk. These changes can then be accompanied by colic.
  • Babies may also swallow air when they suck or drink from a bottle. This buildup of air in the stomach may cause irritation and crying.
  • Infant milk could also be the cause because the baby is potentially allergic to cow's milk proteins. However, breastfed babies are just as concerned.

4. How to relieve them?

First and foremost, don't hesitate to go to a health care professional to examine your child and make sure it's infant colic and not something else.


When you're sure your baby is suffering from infant colic, there's no quick fix or medication that can help. However, a few simple things can go a long way in helping to calm your baby. Just try it and see if it works for your baby:


  • Gently rock baby or wear him in a sling to reassure and soothe him
  • Limit air intake during feeding or bottle-feeding by trying to burp your baby
  • Leave baby in a calm and soothing environment with dimmed lights
  • Do an abdominal massage from bottom to top by rubbing his belly in a clockwise direction
  • You can also carry your baby by laying him on your arms flat on your stomach. In this way, you can rock your baby and the small movements of your arms under his belly can relieve him

It's important to remember that colic, while distressing and distressing for both you and your baby, is only temporary and will eventually go away. Remember also that they have no harmful consequences for your child's health or development. However, if the crying spells continue beyond 8 weeks or are accompanied by vomiting, fever or diarrhea, for example, consult a health professional.


For my part, our daughter Julia suddenly started having colic around 4 weeks and it was very confusing not being able to relieve her. Eventually they disappeared almost overnight when she was 3 months old.

Infant colic: what is it and how to relieve it?
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