Coping with Colic

As many as a quarter of otherwise healthy newborns cry a whole lot more than others. And when crying becomes chronic, doctors call the condition colic. It's not necessarily a sign your baby is sick, but colic can still take a toll. The good news: The condition is temporary. And there are some calming tactics you can try while waiting out the clock. Tricia O'Brien, Features Editor for American Baby magazine offers some tips.

Many parents aren't familiar with what colic is. 15 to 25 percent of newborns cry excessively and inconsolably for no apparent reason. Colic is a behavioral observation, not a diagnosis. The thing to remember when wondering if your child has colic is the rule of threes. Crying bouts start when the baby is about 3 weeks old, lasting for more than 3 hours a day, for more than 3 days a week, for more than 3 weeks in a row. But the bright side is colic usually peaks at 6 to 8 weeks and subsides by 3 to 4 months.

Also, the thing to remember is just because your child has colic doesn't mean they are sick or have belly pain. However, even though colic is not dangerous in itself, excessive crying can be associated with over-medicating babies, postpartum depression and shaken-baby syndrome. Don't be afraid to talk to your doctor.

If your baby is suffering from colic, just remember to follow the 5 S's. Swaddle your baby, shooshing in baby's ear, swinging the baby, letting the baby suck on a pacifier, and laying the baby on her side or stomach. Also, what works for one child, may not work for another. It's all about trial and error. Some babies like to be driven around in the car, while others may like the sound of running water from the shower. Stick to what helps.

For more information on coping with colic, as well as additional parenting advice, visit
by Jenn Eaker