What is colic?

Infant colic is a common condition, affecting around 1 in 5 infants in the UK in their first month of life.1 However, it is not a serious medical condition and usually resolves by the age of 3-4 months. Colic is usually recognised by bouts of inconsolable crying, often for hours at a time, for no specific reason – i.e. your baby is not hungry, overtired, needs a nappy change or has a raised temperature.

Despite medical research, no one is certain what causes infant colic. A likely explanation may be the build-up of trapped wind in your baby’s bowel causing pain and discomfort.

Colic most commonly occurs in the late afternoon and evening when your baby may cry out in pain, draw their knees up to their chest and go red in the face. Their tummy may be swollen or bloated as if they’ve swallowed a lot of air, and they might pass wind more than usual.

A colicky baby can be very distressing for everyone in the house. Listening to long periods of crying can leave you feeling tired, stressed and emotionally drained. Despite the intensity of your baby’s cries, it is important to remember that colic is not a serious medical condition.

References

1. NHS Choices, Infant Colic